Winnie the Pooh is a character that has captivated the hearts of children for decades. If you’re a lover of Winnie the Pooh and his friends or would like to share your memories with your children, there’s no better day to do so than on January 18. People around the world know January 18 as Winnie the Pooh Day. Below, you’ll find the best ways to help you celebrate the occasion.
History of Winnie the Pooh
Author A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh in 1926. Milne, at the time, was trying to escape the notion that he was strictly a children’s writer. He had studied mathematics at Cambridge and was looking to expand his horizons. Nonetheless, Milne worked with E.H. Shepard to come up with illustrations for his work and released four volumes of stories.
Milne then sold the rights to the Winnie the Pooh storyline to Stephen Slesinger. In 1932, Slesinger released the first Pooh doll, a plush toy dressed in a red t-shirt. When Slesinger passed away, his widow sold the rights on Disney in 1961. Disney brought Winnie the Pooh to the mainstream in the 60s, when they began to publish the story and Over time, the character grew into an international phenomenon.
Authors have translated Winnie the Pooh books into 29 different languages. The widespread fame brought earnings and growth for Disney. This article from Forbes indicates that Winnie the Pooh is the second-highest grossing fictional character ever created, second only to Mickey Mouse. With such tremendous notoriety, it’s no surprise that so many people choose to celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day.
It’s unclear when people began celebrating Winnie the Pooh Day. However, what is known is why that day is significant. January 18 is A.A. Milne’s birthday. Thus, it’s quite fitting that this was the day people chose as the holiday commemorating the distinctive character. If you have never celebrated Winnie the Pooh Day before, next year is an excellent time to begin!
How to Celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day
No matter if you’re looking to pay tribute to one of your childhood heroes or celebrate new traditions with your children, you should look forward to celebrating Winnie the Pooh Day on January 18. Below, you’ll find our recommendations for the best ways to commemorate the holiday. We believe that by choosing one of the options on this list, you’ll find yourself delighted.
If you have celebrated the day in the past, we invite you to share your experiences in the comment section below. We would love for you to share with our community of readers ways in which you’ve commemorated Winnie the Pooh on January 18 in year’s past. Together, we’re confident that we can all have a fantastic experience honoring Winnie the Pooh next year.
Read the Original Winnie-the-Pooh
You likely know Winnie the Pooh from the modern Disney films, but one of the best ways to pay tribute to Milne is by reading the original Winnie-the-Pooh books. When searching, you’re likely to find that Winnie-the-Pooh is spelled as such, because it was not until the 1960s that Disney decided to drop the hyphens from the name.
We recommend reading the 1926 publication “Winnie-the-Pooh” and the 1928 publication “The House at Pooh Corner.” This is not only an excellent way to trace Winnie the Pooh back to his beginnings, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity to pay tribute to Milne. Although Milne did not want to be known as a children’s author, he likely had no idea what his creation was set to become.
Read Other Works by A.A. Milne
Because Milne did not want to be known solely as a children’s writer, he also produced numerous other works that are worth reading. In fact, before publishing the Winnie-the-Pooh series, Milne had published 18 plays and three novels. This should leave you with plenty of reading material for this January 18, and many to come.
Watch “Christopher Robin”
If you’re an adult who is still looking to tap your childhood roots, perhaps check out the recent film, “Christopher Robin.” This live-action film focuses on Winnie the Pooh’s owner, Christopher Robin. The two reencounter each other after Robin has grown older and is a working-class man in post-World War 2 London. A tale of friendship and adulthood, this film puts a unique twist on the Pooh Bear series.
Visit the Original Characters in the New York Public Library
Milne created the Winnie the Pooh series based on toys he had given to his son, Christopher Robin Milne. The New York Public Library now houses a majority of these toys. There, you’ll not only see the original Winnie the Pooh bear, but you’ll also see the stuffed animals that inspired Pooh’s friends in the short stories, including:
Two other famous characters in the series, Rabbit and Owl, were not inspired by stuffed animals but instead from Milne’s imagination. Additionally, Gopher, another favorite figure in the series, was not added until Disney took over the rights to the story. You can find all of these stuffed animals in the Main Branch of the New York Public Library.
Take a Trip to London
If you’re feeling extraordinarily ambitious, you could choose to visit London to celebrate Winnie the Pooh on January 18. Why London? Well, for one, that’s where A.A. Milne lived where he created the Winnie the Pooh series. You can check out the Cotchford Farm that served as his family’s summer retreat during the late 1920s.
Additionally, you can channel your inner Christopher Robin Milne and take a visit to the London Zoo. After taking a trip to the zoo, Christopher Milne named his stuffed toy bear “Winnie.” Winnie was a Canadian black bear housed at the zoo at the time. The bear was donated to the zoo by Canadian soldier after the end of the First World War. Christopher Milne even had the chance to feed Winnie.
While in London, you can also visit Pooh Corner. The shop specializes in all things Winnie the Pooh. The shop came about in 1978 after the storekeeper had numerous encounters with Christopher Robin Milne. Many who go to Pooh Corner are amazed by the hundreds of souvenirs within the store. While there, be sure to check out Piglet's Tea Room and Garden.
Lastly, be sure to check out the Ashdown Forest during your London trip. Ashdown Forest served as the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood. Christopher Robin Milne used to play in these woods frequently. In fact, rumor has it that he lost a few of his toys in these woods. If they had not, the illustrated Pooh Bear might have had even more friends than he does today.
There’s no denying that Winnie the Pooh loved honey. What better way to pay tribute to Winnie the Pooh than by enjoying fresh honey on January 18? We recommend buying local honey, which will also help support your local ecosystem. Consider mixing honey into a warm cup of tea or looking up recipes that involve the delicious treat.
Volunteer at a Local Library
The Winnie the Pooh books were formative for many people, perhaps including yourself. One of the best ways to pay tribute to Milne and his series is by volunteering at a local library on January 18. Local libraries are always in need of assistance. What better way to give back to the community and pay tribute to a tremendous author?
Similarly, you could also look to see if there are local tutoring programs with which you could get involved. Sharing your love of Winnie the Pooh with a child could open up a world of possibilities. You never know if you’ll spark a child’s interest in learning. Sharing the Winnie the Pooh characters with a child could be an excellent way to do so.
Check Out Local Events
There may be some local events in your neighborhood to celebrate the holiday. We recommend browsing the internet or community centers to see if any others in your area are planning a get-together based around Winnie the Pooh’s January 18th holiday. This could be an excellent chance to meet new people with who you share the same interests.
If you do not find any events in your area, consider hosting one yourself! Many people would cite Winnie the Pooh as a character formative to their childhood. No matter how you choose to celebrate, we’re willing to bet that many people in your community would want to partake with you. There’s no better way to celebrate on January 18th than with like-minded people!
Put Your Children to Bed wit
h Winnie the Pooh Stories
You likely grew up reading Winnie the Pooh as a child and listening to his stories as you fell asleep. Consider passing this tradition along to your children by reading them a Winnie the Pooh bedtime story on January 18. Doing so could help create a bond between you and your children as you both jump into the adventures of the Hundred Acre Forest.