A rare occasion: Today is Ladybug Day — only four such days every 100 years

The classic children's show Sesame Street has been in the news of late after being a hotly debated topic at the first round of the 2012 presidential debates this year, but Sesame Street is in the news in another, less-conventional way today as well.

Ladybug Day is the reason the show is receiving national attention today, and a visit to ladybugday.net — a website put together by the Gordon family of Redwood City, Calif. — explains just why today is such a monumental day.

The idea of Ladybug Day came from a song aired on Sesame Street some time ago. The point of the song was to help teach youngsters how to count, and years later, many people still know the words, and it's become a popular Youtube video.

After counting to 12 in groups of three — 1-2-3; 4-5-6; 7-8-9; 10-11-12 — the song brings the ladybugs back together for the ladybugs' picnic.

From sack races to playing jump rope and telling knock-knock jokes, the ladybugs have all sorts of fun at their picnic.

And Gordon's website invites children across the country to join in the fun.

His website warns that after this monumental day, the wait time for the next Ladybug Day will stretch into next century — Jan. 2, 2103 to be exact.

Gordon has also been the one behind other educationally motivated, math-based celebrations — such as Odd Day (7-9-11) and Square Root Day (9-9-81, for example).

This time, it's a different Gordon at the root of the day, though.

Gordon's daughter, Rachel, is earning her masters and elementary credential at the U.C. Santa Cruz, and together with her family, she has sponsored a Facebook event that can be located by searching for "Ladybug Day" under the events tab, or by visiting facebook.com/#!/events/149008571909428/.

To go along with the fun associated with just celebrating Ladybug Day with its song, the contest invites youngsters to celebrate ladybugs in a drawing, painting, poem, essay or story — the point is to "have fun and be creative and clever," according to the Ladybug Day website.

Although Ladybug Day passes us by today, the numerical rarity of the event allows the deadline to be extended to 10+11+12 days. The entries began on Sept. 25 and will run through Oct. 27, and entries may be submitted via Facebook or to rongordon135@gmail.com.

A total of $1,011.12 worth of prizes will be split between the best 10+11+12 entries.

The website invites all, though, to share in the fun of Ladybug Day with their friends giving them "a little math, a little smile and a little fun." That's the point of Ladybug Day.