Today, February 8, is The Day of the Chicken in Japan, according to the Japan Anniversary Association.
The anniversary was chosen because of one phonetic reading for the date.
In Japanese, phrasing today’s date would be 2月8日, which is literally the “second month and eighth day” if rendered in English.
One way to phrase the two days making up today’s date in Japanese is “ni,” symbolizing two, and “wa,” for eight.
Chicken in Japanese is niwatori, so the bird (tori) of the ni (2nd) and wa (eighth) is clearly the chook, thus The Day of the Chicken.
The Association says the anniversary was proposed by Torizen Foods Co., Ltd., a company based in Fukuoka that is famous for its hanamidori brand of chickens. The company proposed the date to commemorate and thank the chicken that we eat on a daily basis without great thought for the lives the birds have dedicated to us.
Incidentally, the Japan Anniversary Association designates a commemorative event for each day of the year.
Other occasions being commemorated today are the Day of the Camelia, the Day of the Wooden Coathanger, Toothbrush Exchange Day and Japanese Chocolate Day. Fascinating stuff!