What do you like to do in your spare time? Every January, during National Hobby Month, thousands of Americans celebrate their favorite hobbies and try out new ones. From outdoor activities like swimming or hiking, to artsy projects like painting or knitting — most of us have go-to pursuits. During this month, don’t just stick to your regular routine. Expand your list of hobbies and share the ones you love.
History of National Hobby Month
The etymology behind the word hobby can be traced back to the 16th century word “hobyn” meaning “small horse and pony.” The term “hobby horse” was a toy horse purchased in Reading, England in 1557. Originally called a “tourney horse,” this toy horse was made of a straight stick with a small horse’s head made also of wood or stuffed fabric. Hobbies are often referred to as a “pastime,” derived from the use of hobbies to pass the time. From “hobby horse” came the expression “to ride one’s hobby horse” meaning “to follow one’s favorite pastime.” Over several centuries the term “hobby” grew to be associated with recreation and leisure. While in the 17th century it was generally perceived as a childish pursuit, with the growth of the industrial society, hobbies took on greater respectability by the 18th century. Over years, hobbies are now an activity that is a regular practice serving a worthwhile purpose to individuals. Hobbies can be practiced for pure enjoyment or interest, and sometimes even financial reward.
Today hobbies are embraced all over the world and people’s passion for their hobbies has taken them places they never would have thought possible. From reading, writing, and collecting, to art and video games, whatever it is that gets your gears going, this January is your opportunity to kick it into full swing and let your inner hobbler out!