Merry-Go-Rounds go by a variety of different names. They are known as roundabouts or hurdy-gurdies. However, there’s one name for this ride that really sparks people’s imaginations and feelings of nostalgia, and that name is carousel. These amusement rides take some of us back to our childhoods, even if we never had a chance as a child to ride one of these rotating circular platforms.
The very look of them conjures up feelings of wonder and whimsy, so it’s not surprising that they would earn their own holiday. A holiday that’s observed on July 25th and known as Carousel Day. This is a day to seek out one of these rides to enjoy for the day.
The History Of Carousel Day
To understand how carousels came into existence, people need to look only to the Middle Ages. This is when early jousting traditions in Europe and the Middle East turned into a game where a mounted riders would toss white balls to one another while moving in a circle to practice their horsemanship.
The name “carousel” even means “little battle” and originated from the Italian word Carosella. During the 17th century, commoners began to practice these “little battles” as a game. It wasn’t long after that happened, that carousels began to appear at fairgrounds all across Europe.
By the 18th century, they were being built and used for a wide variety of gatherings and fairs all across Europe. Of course, it would be many, many years before Carousel Day would be invented. This holiday was founded in 2014 by Better Largent.
She was the President of the National Carousel Association, she created the holiday alongside carousel historian Ronald Hopkins. The day was created to honor William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa. Schneider patented the carousel in the United States in 1871 and is considered by many to be the inventor of the modern carousel.
Observing Carousel Day
One way for people to observe this holiday is by visiting one of the carousels that still exist to this day. According to our research, there are about 180 carousels that still remain in the United States, and many others around the world.
At one point in time, there were 6,000 carousels built in the U.S. between 1890 and 1930, but most of them have either been abandoned, broken up, and sold to collectors, or destroyed by fire or floods.
Who knows how long the remaining carousels will be around, so people should definitely check them out while they can. If they find a particularly interesting carousel, they can take the time to post a picture of it on the Internet for all of us to enjoy. This can be done using the hashtag #CarouselDay.