Are you a twin? And if so, are you a “double” too? Then Ohio, United States is the place for you to be for an August weekend of twin fun. Every year, in August, twins from all over the world gather at Twinsburg, Ohio, for a special day dedicated to twins and for a weekend of socialising, celebration and fun?

The Twins Days festival at Twinsburg is the world’s largest annual gathering of twins. It’s a big club-like event in which twins, “doubles”, triplets, quadruplets and their parents come to this small town near Cleveland.

Where is the Twins Day Festival Held? [Illustration by Anup Singh]
Where is the Twins Day Festival Held? [Illustration by Anup Singh]

The first Twins Day was held in August 1976 with only 37 pairs of twins. Since then, this festival has been held without fail, drawing record duos from every corner of the globe. It was in fact a coincidence that the city chosen for this festive day was called Twinsburg.

Twins are children born of the same mother and within minutes of each other. A woman having one baby at a time is most common. Twins are not so common. On rarer occasions, three babies or triplets, or four babies called quadruplets may be born.

How do twins form? Each baby grows from a single cell. Sometimes the cell splits into two. Or sometimes two cells begin to grow. When this happens two babies grow inside the mother. Two babies growing at the same time inside the mother are called twins.

Twins that come from one cell that splits into two will look alike. These twins are called identical twins or “doubles”. Twins that come from two different cells will not look alike and are called “fraternal twins”. Twins that look alike are always either two boys or two girls. A fraternal twin may look like each other but are not exactly the same.

Portrait of two little girl twins
Portrait of two little girl twins

Most twins do not look alike. Identical twins or doubles is a rare phenomenon. The Twin Day festival was thus organised to recognise this biological miracle.

In 1976, the year the United States celebrated 200 years of independence, a group of people decided to set aside a day for twins.

Since July was the month dedicated for the celebrations (July 4 is United States’ Independence day) August was chosen to celebrate the festival.

The Twins Day Festival in August 1976 started with a flag hoisting at the city square. There were 37 sets of twins in attendance that first year.

The organisers did not want the festival to be a one-off affair. So the next year they planned it better and ensured the festival continued at the same venue.

There were heated arguments whether Twins Day should be limited to a local affair or to a festival dedicated to children of multiple births. In 1979 the festival went international with two sets of twins arriving from abroad – one pair from Lebanon and another from Poland. The same year, the Twins Day Committee was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation.

Today, the Twins Day attracts 2,736 pairs of twins from every state in the USA and others from all over the globe. From baby twins to people in the eighties and nineties!

You can attend too if you are interested – if not to participate at least as a spectator. However, if you are unable to attend the Twins Day festival, you must at least check out Twins Restaurant in New York city operated by Debbie and Lisa Ganz. The entire restaurant is staffed by multiples!

591 words | 5 minutes
Readability: Grade 7 (12-13 year old children)
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Filed under: 5ws and h
Tags: #united states, #globe, #festivals

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