May 13

Jumping Frog Day

Old Frog
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Jumping Frog
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“He ketched a frog one day, and took him home, and said he cal'klated to edercate him; and so he never done nothing for three months but set in his back yard and learn that frog to jump.”

~ The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Mark Twain, 1865

The Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee features the famous jumping frog competition, inspired by Mark Twain's famous tall tale, and takes place over 4 days on the third weekend in May. Frogs in this competition jump further than any other frog jumping contest in the nation! The current record holder, Rosie the Ribeter, completed her three consecutive jumps in 1986 for a total of 21 feet, 5¾ inches! Ribbit, Ribbit!

Jumping Frog Day was inspired by Mark Twain's famous first short story, published in 1865, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” which was given several subsequent titles including:  “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” and “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.


Mark Twain’s story is about a pet frog named Dan’l Webster, and a casual competition between two men betting on whose frog jumps higher. Mark Twain claimed he based this tale on story he heard at the Angels Hotel, in Angels Camp, a historic mining town in Gold Country, California.  

The annual Jumping Frog Jubliee, held every May in Calaveras County, California includes competitive frog jumping.  A serious business, frogs at this competition jump longer than those at any other competitions throughout the country, a fact which has been put down to the techniques and enthusiasm of the frog jockeys, rather than the frogs.  The final spot where the frog lands after three jumps is the distance measured.

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan employs the subdued colors of the common frog.


For more about the history behind the story and the frog jumping contest, including the world record holder (Rosie the Ribeter for the 1986 record of 21 feet, 5¾ inches ), click the jumping frog!

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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