World Sword Swallowers Day Date in the current year: February 24, 2024

World Sword Swallowers Day World Sword Swallowers Day, sometimes referred to as International Sword Swallowers Day, is observed annually on the last Saturday of February. It was created to celebrate the exciting and dangerous art of sword swallowing and raise funds to help injured sword swallowers.

Sword swallowing is not swallowing in the literal sense of the word because the muscles that are normally involved in swallowing do not contract during sword swallowing, but it is not an illusion either: the sword does pass through the swallower’s mouth and esophagus all the way down to their stomach. The process requires extreme focus because the sword passes very close to vital organs such as the aorta, heart and lungs. Because of this, sword swallowing is a highly dangerous practice with a significant risk of injury or even death.

Sword swallowing is believed to have originated in the Indian Subcontinent some 4,000 years ago. It spread to ancient Greece and Rome around the 1st century AD and to China 700 years later. Sword swallowing was a common type of performance in medieval street theater, but it has been slowly dying out since the second half of the 19th century. Today, there are just a few dozen actively performing sword swallowers in the world.

Most people have at least heard about sword swallowers if not seen a sword swallowing performance, but very few are aware that sword swallowers have contributed to the development of medicine, specifically to the advancement of endoscopy and treatment of swallowing disorders.

World Sword Swallowers Day was launched in the 2000s by the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI) in collaboration with Ripley’s Believe It or Not, an American media franchise focused on bizarre events and unusual items. With just a few dozen active professional sword swallowers left in the world, the SSAI considered it important to raise awareness about the ancient art of sword swallowing and show that it is still an exciting entertainment option even after 4,000 years. The holiday is celebrated in February because it is National Swallowing Disorders Month.

World Sword Swallowers Day aims to highlight the contributions made by sword swallowers to science and medicine, dispel common myths about sword swallowing and explain the dangers of this art, honor injured and veteran sword swallowers, and raise funds for injured sword swallowers and causes such as swallowing disorders and esophageal cancer.

How can you celebrate World Sword Swallowers Day? In previous years, Ripley’s Believe It or Not have hosted events on the occasion, so if there is a Ripley’s Odditorium near you, check out their schedule to see if they host any World Sword Swallowers Day events. If there are no live events you can attend, you can check out sword swallowing performances on YouTube and learn interesting facts about sword swallowing and famous sword swallowers. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #WordSwordSwallowersDay, #InternationalSwordSwallowersDay and #SwordSwallowersDay.

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