“A Monkey’s Birthday”

My informant first heard this saying from a friend of hers in high school. On a sunny day when it started to rain, her friend suddenly said, “Its a monkeys birthday!” She looked at her friend very confusedly and asked, “What?”

Her friend said she had learned the saying in elementary school in Cameron Park California, a suburb of Sacramento. She said she was surprised my informant hadn’t heard it, that she thought most people knew this saying. My informant was surprised her friend thought this was common.

In asking my informant what she thought the saying meant, she believed it was a fun saying told to entertain children about the rare weather phenomena. That it was when a monkey was born!

In thinking more about why it is a monkey’s birthday, I began to think about the presence of the rainbow. Birthdays are events of creation and celebration. When it is both rainy and sunny, a rainbow can usually be found somewhere in the sky. The mixture of two opposite forces of nature make something beautiful, like a birth. Also a rainbow is the ultimate entity of color, and festivities or celebrations, are times of decoration in bright colors. Why it is a monkey, I do not know. Perhaps because monkeys are cute, playful, and mischievous. I think my informant is probably on spot when she said it is just a fun, creative saying for kids.