Saturday, February 23, 2013
Today is...World Sword Swallowers Day
Today is World Sword Swallowers Day. What daring or dangerous thing would you like to learn to do?
Sword swallowing originated at some point before 2000 BC in India. It isn't swallowing as much as repressing swallowing to put a sword through the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach.
Sword swallowing was sometimes used as a demonstration of divine power. But then was transformed into a theatre act.
In the 1900s, sword swallowing was most often seen as part of circus sideshow acts, which also included fire eating, knife throwing, body piercing, and lying on a bed of nails.
Rasputin's daughter Maria worked as a dancer and tiger and lion trainer for the Ringling Brothers Circus. She was mauled by a bear in Peru, Indiana, but stayed with the circus.
Peru, Indiana is the Circus Capital of the World due to being the winter headquarters for several famous circuses, including Ringling Brothers, Hagenbeck-Wallace, and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.