Smoke & Mirrors is a term that means something or someone is embellishing or obscuring the truth of a situation by using irrelevant or misleading information. This phrase came from the classic magic technique that uses mirrors and smoke to create the illusion of a spirit. Although we’re unsure how the holiday Smoke And Mirrors Day came into creation, we’re sure it was created by someone who loved magic and optical illusions. And whoever they are, they’re probably still celebrating it on March 29th every single year.
The History Of Smoke & Mirrors
Although we’re unable to uncover the history of Smoke And Mirrors Day, we did uncover the origins of how smoke and mirrors became the standard magic trick. This magical illusion is one that makes it look like an apparition suspended in empty space. The first documentation of this trick was back in the 1770s, but it was its frequent use by Johann George Schröpfer—a German charlatan and purported necromancer. He would use smoke and mirrors to create illusions of people’s deceased family members in order to swindle them out of their money.
During the 19th century, smoke and mirrors would become a fixture of phantasmagoria shows. These shows were a form of horror theater that used magic lanterns to project horrifying, and sometimes disturbing, images on a wall. Images that included demons, ghosts, and skeletons. One of the most famous tricks ever created using the smoke and mirrors technique was the Spinx Illusion. This illusion was created by a British academic in 1865 but was popularized by magician Colonel Stodare.
The Spinx Illusion claimed to reveal the severed head of the Spinx and it was created by using two contiguous mirrors angles so that they reflect a background material while the subject merely kneels behind the mirrors with the head presented. This makes the head appear to float. A modern version of the trick can be seen on YouTube. It’s called The Talking Head Illusion and it was performed by Mr. Wizard.
Observing Smoke And Mirrors Day
If you want to try celebrating this day, you can attempt several different illusion tricks that can be easily looked up on the Internet. You don’t have to even be an amateur magician to try out some of these tricks. Just pick up some basic supplies, practice a little bit and then try them out for friends and family members. Just be sure not to swindle them out of their money.
For those people who don’t feel comfortable performing their own illusions, they can take the time to learn about the history of optical illusions and how they’ve been used throughout history. While you’re digging into the arcane past of optical illusions, feel free to let us know of your deepened understanding of magic by using the hashtag #SmokeAndMirrorsDay on your social media accounts.
When is Smoke And Mirrors Day?
|This year (2023)||March 29 (Wednesday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2024)||March 29 (Friday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2022)||March 29 (Tuesday)||Multiple dates - more|