Swirling and looping, rising and falling, the juggler’s tools fly through the air with an elegance surprising in pins and rings, knives and hatchets. World Juggling Day recognizes the amazing feats of dexterity and skill required by their demanding art form. The types of things you can juggle and the styles of juggling are truly far and wide, and some of the most demanding don’t even require that they leave your hands. If you’ve ever been amazed by the seeming magic worked by a juggler’s hands, then World Juggling Day is your opportunity to show them some recognition.
History of World Juggling Day
World Juggling day was established by the International Juggler’s Association, and is dedicated to preserving and spreading the history of the art of juggling. Juggling as an art form is far older than most people credit, going back well over 4,000 years. The first evidence of juggling as an art form goes back to the wall of a tomb in Egypt. A group of women are seen dancing and performing with up to three balls.
Other forms of juggling can be found in China, where the ancient Chu warrior Xiong Yiliao was reported to practice nòngwán, the art of “throwing multiple objects up and down without dropping.” Apparently his skills were so profound that he stepped out between the armies of Chu and Song, and promptly juggled nine balls, so astounding the Song troops that they turned and fled in terror. Such is the magic of juggling.
From there on evidence of juggling can be found in Greece, the Roman Empire, on into Medieval Europe and modern day. Even the Native American’s have a strong history of traditional juggling, there’s even evidence of cultures having juggled with their feet. It’s somehow surprising that it took until 1947 for the International Jugglers’ Association to be formed.
How to celebrate World Juggling Day
If you know a juggler, the best way you can celebrate this holiday is complimenting them on their skill and perhaps even asking them to perform a little for you so they have a chance to show off the art they worked so hard at. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you might even take this opportunity to get out and learn a bit of juggling yourself! It’s a fairly simple art to learn, even if it’s incredibly hard to perfect, and it can improve your hand and eye coordination to an amazing degree! So on World Juggling Day get out there and show your love to a juggler, or become one!