National Hammock Day is celebrated every year on July 22 to commemorate the universal symbol for relaxation. Developed by the Mayans of Central and South America for sleeping or resting, a hammock is a sling made of fabric, rope or netting, which is suspended between two points such as posts or trees. Most often, hammocks were made from the woven bark from the Hamack Tree — hence “hamacas”. Today the hammock is often seen as a symbol of summer, leisure, relaxation, and simple, easy living. So grab your favorite book, put your feet up, and relax!
History of National Hammock Day
Since the 13th century, humans have enjoyed napping and resting in hammocks that have been tied together between two trees. The word “Hammock” originated from a Taino culture Arwakan word meaning “fishnet”. The name is also derived from the Hamack tree because hammocks used to be woven from their bark. Though hammocks are used around the world, their popularity is arguably at its peak in Latin America, and some say that hammocks embody the ‘relaxed’ lifestyle traditional to those countries and the Caribbean.
It was invented by the native-born people of Middle and South America, who called them “Hamacas”, in the Taino language. Columbus first encountered the hammock in the Bahamas. He observed in 1492 that “people were sleeping in nets between the trees”. He brought the hammock back to Europe where sailors started using it extensively because swinging while suspended in the air led to better sleep than they were previously experiencing on the dirty ship floor.
Nowadays the hammock serves as a bed to some or a symbol of leisure to others. Popular brands like ENO have made hammocking stylish with their sleek materials and colors. Many people today would consider hammocking a social activity, or a place for personal relaxation. Hammocking can be a fun way to spend time with the people you are closest to.
National Hammock Day timeline
Some states, like California and Maryland, begin to ban hammocks in public parks, and on University campuses, to protect the natural trees.
The US Marine Corps utilized “jungle hammocks”, or hammocks sprayed with insecticide, in tropical jungle regions like Burma, during World War II.
The Royal Navy adopts the sling hammock as the official bed for their sailors.
- 15th Century
The first records of hammocks appeared after Columbus “discovered” them in Latin America.
- A.D. 250 to 900
The Mayans invented hammocks, at some point around this time frame.
National Hammock Day FAQs
Is National Hammock Day a real holiday?
This holiday is as real as you make it out to be. ENO and camping aficionados celebrate this holiday and you should, too.
How many hammocks are sold each year?
In North America, more than a million hammocks are sold each year.
What day is National Hammock Day
HOW TO CELEBRATE
Put up your hammock
Find two sturdy, conveniently located trees or posts and set up your hammock. The versatile slings are now popping up as interior decor. They’ve been spotted adorning the walls of some of our favorite shops, homes, and hotels. So you can even celebrate Hammock Day indoors. Whether you’re indoors or out, putting up a hammock creates a perfect oasis.
Grab a towel and head to the beach
Don’t have a hammock? No worries. Improvise. Grab your favorite beach towel or picnic blanket and head to your nearest beach or park. You may not be relaxing in the air, but you’ll still be relaxing, and that’s the whole point of the day!
Bring a hammock to work
Yep, hammocks at work are becoming all the rage. Some of the world’s best known companies decided to think outside the box, so they placed hammocks over plush carpet so that their employees can recharge for the second half of the day. Feeling rested is the cornerstone of productivity. Don’t forget to get your boss’ permission first.
5 FACTS ABOUT HAMMOCKS
Hammock by name
“Hammock” is a popular English Surname. It was anglicized, originating in Spanish, before it was translated to English.
In the Museum of Gold in Bogotá, Colombia, there is a miniature hammock made of pure gold. You can’t touch this hammock, but it is beautiful to behold.
A mountain view
You can sleep in a giant hammock in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria mountains. ‘Casa Elemento’ is a picturesque mountain hostel in Colombia, that allows hostel guests to sleep outside, in a giant hammock that can fit up to 15 people.
An indoor hammock
You can relax in an indoor hammock cafe in Tokyo. ‘Mahika Mano’ is one of the first hammock-themed cafes in Tokyo. It is located in Kichijoji, and you can sip tea and eat, and the hammocks double as chairs.
A bad idea
In the 19th century, the British prison system adopted the hammock in an attempt to replace jail cell cots. The hammocks were soon taken away, because the prisoners would use the large brass hooks and rings - that connected the hammocks - as makeshift weapons.
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY
You get some me time
You go to work for eight hours, come home, and have to cook dinner. If you’re a parent, you have to take care of your child on top of all of that. Life can be so hectic, so self-care is very important. On National Hammock Day, you get to take a break from all that craziness and recharge.
You get to unplug
We could all use a few minutes away from our smart phones and computers. Participating in the national holiday allows you to unplug from technology, relax, get outside and get some fresh air. But if you must bring your phone, turn off your ringer and turn up your playlist.
You have to admit, taking midday naps was the one of the best things about being a kid. National Hammock Day is a day where you can indulge in a guilt-free adult nap. A short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.
National Hammock Day dates