On May 18, 1977, the world first celebrated International Museum Day. Each year, the International Council of Museums chooses a theme for the celebration. In 1992, for instance, the theme was “Museums and the Environment.” In 2017, the theme is "Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums."
 
More than 35,000 museums participate in International Museum Day. Each museum offers different activities. The Museu de Arte Moderna (Museum of Modern Art) in São Paulo, Brazil, for instance, offers a “sensorial tour” of its sculpture garden aimed at hearing-impaired visitors, with information translated into sign language. The National Museum in Lagos, Nigeria, will offer essay and painting opportunities for elementary school students. The Jewish Museum of Australia, in Melbourne, will offer visitors a rare behind-the-scenes look at how historians and curators collect and display objects. Kids of all ages will put together gigantic puzzles at the Museum of San Carlos University in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
 
One of the signature events of International Museum Day is the “European Night of Museums.” At this continent-wide event, museums stay open until 1 a.m.! Some of the events include “night tastings.” At the Natural History Museum in Grenoble, France, for instance, the tasting will put a focus on the museum’s spider exhibit. Visitors will be invited to eat a giant “cocoon”—cotton candy!
celebrate
Verb

to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

cocoon
Noun

silky covering spun by silkworms and other insect larvae in which they live and develop during the pupal stage.

Noun

one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

council
Noun

group of people selected to act in an advisory, administrative, or legislative capacity.

curator
Noun

person who designs, assembles, and manages an exhibit at a museum or other cultural center.

environment
Noun

conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.

exhibit
Noun

display, often in a museum.

historian
Noun

person who studies events and ideas of the past.

impaired
Adjective

weakened or damaged.

Jewish
Adjective

having to do with the religion or culture of people tracing their ancestry to the ancient Middle East and the spiritual leaders Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

museum
Noun

space where valuable works of art, history, or science are kept for public view.

sensorial
Adjective

having to do with one or more of the senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, or touch.

signature
Adjective

unique identifying feature or characteristic.

translate
Verb

to turn written or spoken text into a different language.