Happy Movember, the month of moustache growing and money raising for men's health issues.
Launched in 2003 by a group of friends at a bar in Australia, the Movember Foundation has raised millions of dollars around the world for prostate cancer and other men's health issues like depression.
The US chapter of Movember was created in 2007, along with branches in Canada, Spain and the UK.
In 2010, more than 64,000 participants (known as Mo Bros and Mo Sistas) raised $7.5 million in the US, with net proceeds were split between the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Lance Armstrong's foundation, LIVESTRONG - Movember's US men's health partners.
Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men's health. At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valor by [throwing a party], according to the Movember Web site.
In recent years, professional sports teams like the Australian rugby union team and the Montreal Canadiens hockey team have joined in on the Movember festivities.
On Monday, to mark the start of Movember, members of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team, including Teemu Selanne and George Parros (who is famous for his facial hair), received clean shaves at the Art of Shaving shop in Washington, DC. The entire Ducks team is expected to participate.
Each year, it is estimated that 1 in 9 men in the US will develop prostate cancer, with approximately 33,000 expected to die from the disease in 2011, according to Movember's annual report.
On the social media front, Movember's presence has significantly increased over the years.
In 2010, visits to Movember.com more than doubled, with more than 14 million Web site visits.
The Movember.com Web site is also where participants go to register for their Mo profile page. Mo Bros and Mo Sistas are encouraged to partake in sections like Mo Community and Mo Money, and download the Movember iPhone app.
On Twitter, Movember has been taking dominating the trending topic list, along with the #movember hashtag.
Starting my #movember stache today. Should be interesting. Or disturbing. Or make girls even less likely to talk to me. #SuperFun, wrote one participant.
My husband will be growing a moustache this month for Movember. This means, for 30 days, I won't have to pick up a razor either. #equality, wrote the wife of another participant.
As Movember 2011 launches in work spaces and campuses across the US, the foundation's Web site has been playing catch-up.
Having an unbelievable Movember 1, sorry if the site is slow, traffic is huge right now. Please bear with us, we're working on it. #movember, the foundation wrote on its official Twitter account.
To celebrate day one of Movember 2011, scroll down for a video courtesy of Google Chrome, one of the foundation's newest partners.
Here are the official rules for Movember, according to the official Movember Manifesto:
If you haven't already done so, the complete moustache region (upper lip and handlebar zones included) must be shaved.
No hair shall be allowed to grow in the goatee zone (below the bottom lip) for the entire month of Movember (November 1-30).
There is no joining of moustache to sideburns.