Two peas in a pod, mirror images — whatever you call them, twins are a unique miracle, and that’s probably why we have a day called National Twins Day, celebrated over the first full weekend of August each year. This year, it takes place from August 5 to 7. Technically, it was supposed to be held on the first Saturday in August, however, National Twins Day has been turned into a weekend-long celebration of all things double. Fraternal or identical, twins have a bond unlike any other on this planet, even as they have different personalities and looks. This day aims to highlight similarities, celebrate differences, and, above all, give twins all over the U.S. a festival that’s just for them.
History of National Twins Day
Twins have been around for a long long time. They’ve been celebrated, revered, and sometimes persecuted for their perceived witchery. The twin phenomenon has appeared in every single form of art and culture from civilizations all around the world.
The fact that they had captured the people’s imagination was probably the reason for twins’ appearing in mythology around the world. Greek mythology mentions twin gods, Apollo and Artemis, who rule the sun and the moon respectively. There’s the tale of twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a she-wolf and founded the Roman state. Zoroastrian tradition has an evil twin, Angra Mainyu, battling with the good one, Spenta Mainyu.
Religious texts are no exception. Even the “Bible” records twins, such as the brothers Esau and Jacob’s legendary rivalry in the book of Genesis.
Writers, too, used twins to nudge audiences toward reading more, with giants like Shakespeare wielding twins into comedic storylines in his “Twelfth Night.”
By the 19th century, we realized that twins were not to be slotted into predefined roles as our forefathers did. As science advanced, so too did the curiosity about twins: why they were born, what factors contribute to their likeness, and how the environment influences their development. Scientists began studying this twin bond, and many influential theories were also released during this period, like Francis Galton’s paper, ‘The History of Twins,’ and Sigmund Freud’s analysis of the sibling bond between twins.
By the 20th century, the craze and wild speculation about twins died down slightly, and people were able to see them for the individuals they were. Of course, the fascination never completely went away, and twins continue to grace our T.V. screens, books, and other places.
Seeing how popular twins are, a pair of twins named Moses and Aaron Wilcox donated six acres of land to a town in Ohio called Millersville. They only had one stipulation: rename the town ‘Twinsburg.’ Of course, the townspeople did exactly that, and in 1976, the town hosted its first annual twin-themed festival. This largest-ever gathering of twins in the world — according to the Guinness Book of World Records — was the inspiration behind our event and has also spurred various other Twin Day celebrations.
National Twins Day timeline
Conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker from Thailand travel to America as part of a theater act, and their subsequent fame inspires a special phrase — ‘Siamese Twins.’
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen both appear as Michelle Tanner in the American sitcom “Full House,” which spawns a gigantic cinematic career for the two as they later appear in hit T.V. shows and movies.
National Twin Day — not to be confused with National Twins Day — is inspired by the original event and is officially proclaimed as another special holiday; it will henceforth be celebrated on December 18 each year.
Archeologists discover a grave in Austria which contains male newborn twins from 30,000 years ago.
National Twins Day FAQs
What day is National Twin Day 2022?
National Twin Day occurs annually on December 18 and is another day to celebrate the twin bond.
Is there a National Twins Week?
We haven’t found any mention of a National Twins Week, but National Twins Day is usually celebrated for a whole weekend in August.
What does National Twins Day mean?
Twins Day, or National Twins Day, is a special celebration for all twins across the U.S.
National Twins Day Activities
Have yourself a twin party
Celebrate the fact that you — or others in your orbit — are part of a special duo. Throw a special twin-themed party with double the fun and food. You can make twin-sized servings of foods such as double-decker sandwiches, double oreo cookies, and so on.
Watch a few T.V. twins
From Phoebe Buffay in “Friends” to Sheldon and Missy Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory” and later “Young Sheldon,” there are plenty of fun duos playing twins on T.V. Revisit a few old favorite pairs and explore a few new ones.
Celebrate some real-life twins
Whether it is friends, family, or your own twin bond, make sure the twins in your life know their uniqueness is appreciated and celebrated. Spend time listening to their best twin memories, and if you're a twin, share your own.
5 Fun Facts About Twins That Will Surprise You
The highest twin birth rate
The Yoruba people of Nigeria have 45 to 50 twin sets per 1,000 live births and believe the twins are “spirit children” who have a closeness to the spirit world.
The twin bond starts in the womb
Research suggests that twin fetuses start interacting socially with each other when they are in Mom's belly, by around the 14th week.
Twins have their own language
Sometimes, twins speak to each other in a language only they understand, a condition scientists call 'cryptophasia.'
Twins in the animal kingdom
Double births are obviously a lot more common in the animal kingdom, but did you know sheep, ferrets, dolphins, deer, elephants, and giant pandas regularly have twins?
The longest birthday gap
Twins can sometimes be born on different days, but the longest gap so far has been 63 days!
Why We Love National Twins Day
We love twins
They’re one of the most fascinating people, and it’s not just us saying so. Twins have been a subject of wonder since ancient times, appearing in all sorts of cultural customs, traditions, and tales. The attraction to twins continues, and we are on board this train.
Twins teach us about close relationships
The twin bond can tell us so much about how genetics and environment play a part in developing a kinship with people. Scientists, psychologists, and researchers have long found twins interesting study subjects because of their unique relationship with each other, and we can’t wait to see what they uncover next.
Twins can help medicine too
Genes can play a critical part in the study of various diseases and disorders, and 'twin studies' (studying twins for research purposes) is one of the best ways to uncover hidden genetic secrets. Because of such studies, the medical profession (and the world) can know what kind of genes and environments could potentially increase the risk of some illnesses — a great help in the prevention of ailments.
National Twins Day dates