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An Odd Holiday: Donald Duck Day

June 8, 2013

Are you all ready for Donald Duck Day? Have you carved Donald Duck’s face into a pumpkin? Are your Donald Duck stockings hung by the chimney with care? Is there a frozen duck thawing in your sink right now?

Okay, so these aren’t real traditions, but yes, Virginia, Donald Duck Day is a real thing. It occurs every June 9. Why that date? Because that’s Donald Duck’s “birthday”—that’s the day of the release of the foul-mouthed fowl’s first animated short, Walt Disney’s “The Wise Little Hen,” in 1934. That means this year is Donald’s 79th birthday.

Over the course of his many years in the entertainment business, the ill-tempered duck has appeared in countless comic books, films, TV shows, cartoons, and video games. Donald has also been a launching point for other popular Disney characters, such as his uncle Scrooge McDuck, his newphers Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and his girlfriend, Daisy Duck. While Donald isn’t as popular as he used to be (his last appearance in a theatrical film was 1999’s Fantasia 2000), he’s still beloved in Europe. In Scandinavia, his comic book is still the top seller after decades, routinely outselling Spider-Man and Superman books. At one point, one out of every four Norwegians read each issue.

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