The Festival for the Souls of the Dead Whales is observed every December 10. On this day, we memorialize all the souls of the whales who died from whaling and other harmful man-made activities. It’s also a day to appreciate their role in the aquatic environment and celebrate the mysteries behind these giant water creatures. In addition, this is also an opportunity to learn more about whaling — its history, economic purpose, and negative impact on the whale community. Find ways to celebrate the Festival for the Souls of the Dead Whales today.
History of Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales
Whaling refers to whale hunting for food and other whale products, such as blubber. While the exact origin of whaling is unknown, records show that humans have been hunting whales for thousands of years. In fact, it is second nature to most people living in aquatic regions. While it is a cultural norm for most countries, it’s also well known as one of the leading causes of whale deaths.
Four thousand years ago, aboriginal communities in Norway spearheaded whaling for food and oil. People discovered that every part of the whale is usable — from its meat, skin, and blubber to its organs, which are a good source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats. Whaling quickly rose to prominence as other neighboring regions started adopting it. In warmer climates, the whale’s baleen was used for roofs, and the bones were repurposed into carving tools. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the entire northern European region adopted whaling. Whalebones were primarily used for corsets and hoop skirts, and whale oil was extracted from blubber and head cavities. These were deemed valuable commodities and spiked the country’s economy. At this point, whaling became a lucrative industry.
During the mid-1700s, searching whales in the Atlantic region became increasingly difficult. Americans would expand their whaling operations through the whale-rich ocean waters of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. By the 1800s, whaling peaked in the U.S. following advancements in whale-hunting technology, including steamships with gun-loaded harpoons. By the early 1900s, whaling had become a multimillion-dollar industry. It wasn’t until 1971 that the U.S. outlawed whaling after deeming eight whales as endangered species. Nowadays, the act is considered illegal in most countries.
Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales timeline
Norwegian aboriginal people spearhead whaling for food and oil.
Whaling rises to prominence in Northern Europe after the usefulness of different whale parts is discovered.
The difficulty of finding whales on the Atlantic coast leads Americans to explore the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
The U.S. develops technology, like steamships, to make whaling easier.
Whaling becomes a multimillion-dollar industry supporting economies around the world.
The U.S. government bans whaling after designating eight whales as endangered species.
Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales FAQs
How long do whales live?
A whale’s life span varies by species. However, they live between 10 to 100 years on average.
Do whales eat humans?
According to National Geographic, it’s physically impossible for whales to swallow humans.
What is the deadliest whale?
Killer whales are apex predators at the top of the food chain.
How to Observe Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales
Go whale watching
Whale watching with friends and family is a great way to celebrate the Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales. It’s one activity to appreciate these gentle giants and learn more about their behavior and importance to the aquatic environment.
Donate to whale protection organizations
Support nonprofit organizations dedicated to saving whales. Not only will you help their financing for research but also their development of more advanced tools that ensure whales are protected from man-made activities.
There are countless documentaries about whale life and the dangers of whaling available to steam. You can spend this day on your couch with your kids to educate them about the importance of saving these aquatic animals.
5 Facts About Whales That You Didn’t Know
Whaling is legal in Japan and Iceland
While whaling is now forbidden worldwide, Japan and Iceland still allow this activity in their territories.
It’s legal when it’s for scientific research
Since 1986, approximately 25,000 whales have been killed for scientific research.
The blue whale is endangered
Today, the population of blue whales has reduced from 220,000 to 3,000 worldwide.
Humpback whales rarely eat
Humpback whales feed off their fat and could last a year without eating.
The largest animal on Earth
With a maximum height of 110 feet and a maximum weight of 330,000 pounds, the Antarctic blue whale is the biggest animal on the planet.
Why Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales is Important
It raises awareness of endangered species
The Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales not only commemorates the lives of murdered whales but also protects those still living. Their population is critically low, and raising awareness of these endangered species is a great way to educate people on why whaling is and should remain illegal.
Educate your kids young. Introduce them to the role of whales in balancing our aquatic ecosystem. Whales capture a significant amount of carbon in our atmosphere, playing a crucial role in halting climate change.
Whales are mysterious
Whales are the gentle giants of the great unknown. It’s fascinating to learn about whales and how they navigate the deep mysteries of the ocean.
Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales dates