The image of the spinning top is a powerful one, the image of an object only kept in place by motion and precarious laws of physics. They have been used as imagery in many things, including the idea that things must be held in a careful balance, and an indication that eventually all things wind down in the fullness of time. Most recently the spinning top has been used in Inception, creating a powerful connection between this rotating form and illusory stability. International Top Spinning Day celebrates these ideas and many more!
History of International Top Spinning Day
International Top Spinning Day was established by the Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum of Burlington, Wisconsin, both to spread awareness of the joy that is the spinning top, and the fact that the World itself is, in essence, a spinning top, complete with the characteristic wobble. Tops have a long and august history in the world, and have appeared in every culture with significance ranging from spiritual to a simple childhood toy. Just how old is the spinning top? It has been recognized as one of the oldest recognizable toys by archaeologists, being found in multiple cultures and even deep in the oldest sites.
There are multiple types of tops, and the principles that govern them are even used in some of our most advanced technologies (ever heard of a gyroscope? It’s function is based on the same principles that govern the behavior of a top). There are battling tops and gambling tops, and some of those gambling tops are even used for religious purposes. Take, for example, the Dreidel of Jewish faith, a top used for gambling and, by tradition, to hide the fact that they were studying the Torah during times of persecution. Tops really do have a remarkable history, and International Top Spinning Day is your opportunity to research them all! Or just play with a top.
How to celebrate International Top Spinning Day
First, find yourself a top. Tops can be found at almost any toy store, and it’s not terribly difficult to make one of your very own. Ever spun a penny on a table top? You’re essentially creating a top and using the same forces that govern them to keep that penny spinning! Feeling like getting involved? If you’re a teacher you can host an International Top Spinning Day at your school, or suggest it if you’re a student!