By | 24 Feb 2023 at 4:59 PM
International Sword Swallowers Day 2023: Date, History, Facts, Activities

International Sword Swallowers Day is celebrated on the last Saturday of February. It is a day for those who appreciate the bizarre and extraordinary. This year, the event will take place on February 25.

Sword swallowers, also known as those men who insert long, pointy, and sharp objects through their mouths and into their stomachs, are frequently not accorded the same level of fame and esteem as other performers. This holiday was created to honour and celebrate sword swallowers and to educate the public about their contributions to the world.

This day also aims to dispel all myths surrounding sword swallowing and bring global attention to how the sword swallowing community has contributed to medical and scientific advancements.

National Swallowing Disorders Month also occurs during the month of February. This initiative was created to raise funds for esophageal cancer research and injured sword swallowers’ medical care.

The background of International Sword Swallowers Day

In ancient India (circa 2000 B.C. ), fakirs and shaman priests created this art to demonstrate their power and connection with their gods. In addition, they invented walking on hot coals, handling snakes, and other ascetic religious practises.

This practise, which originated in India, gradually spread throughout the world. In 410 A.D., it was observed during the Teutonic struggle for Rome. In China, around 750 A.D., entertainment at Roman Empire-themed festivals included sword swallowing. By the eighth century, Sangaku, a form of Japanese “street theatre,” could also trace its roots to sword swallowing.

This art form quickly spread from Rome and Greece to Europe, where mediaeval jongleurs and other street performers displayed their talents. Despite the fact that the Catholic Church prohibited such street performances during the Middle Ages, commoners still enjoyed a good sword-swallowing show.

In Europe, interest in street performances and sword-swallowing waned during the nineteenth century. A new generation of performers was born as a result of the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century.

At this time, numerous articles suggested that sword swallowers had contributed to medical and scientific advancements. First, a Scottish physicist studied the human digestive system using a sword swallower. Dr. Adolph Kussmaul allegedly utilised a sword swallower to invent the endoscope in 1868. Sword swallowers became increasingly uncommon in circuses and sideshows as the years progressed.

There are very few sword swallowers currently practising their craft. Statistically speaking, the majority of sword swallowers are from the Indian city of Andhra Pradesh, where the knowledge, experience, and practise of sword swallowing are passed down from father to son.

Sword swallowers such as Dan Meyer, president and founder of the Sword Swallowers Association International and a sword swallower himself, determined that a change was necessary when this art form became more of a historical curiosity than a practised art form.

Meyer realised there are national holidays for everyone, including mothers, fathers, and grandparents, so why not for sword swallowers? According to him, very few people are aware of how much risk performers take to entertain the masses. Consequently, the S.S.A.I. established International Sword Swallowers Day.

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Watch a live sword-swallowing performance.

Several of Ripley’s Believe It or NotOdditoriums !’s feature live performances of exceptional quality. Those who are unable to attend can stream these performances live.

Attend an event

This holiday attracts sword swallowers to numerous “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” museums across the United States. You can see these artists perform live by attending a concert.

Discover more about this art

Satisfy your curiosity about how these guys actually do it, debunk all your misconceptions, and perhaps acquire some knowledge about the art itself. Start with the numerous online resources and articles available on the Internet.


While inventing the endoscope (which enters the body in the same manner as a sword), researchers believed that sword swallower bodies were best suited to handle the rigid device without experiencing adverse effects.

The curriculum of the renowned sideshow school on Coney Island, The Coney Island Sideshow School, included sword swallowing classes.

The irritation of the throat caused by sword swallowing is known as “sword throat.” Sword swallowers are unable to put anything down their throats without experiencing adverse effects.

In 2008, Red Stuart simultaneously swallowed 34 swords, setting a record for the most swords swallowed at once.

For World Sword Swallowing Day 2013, veteran sword swallower Dan Meyer swallowed a sword and then used it to pull a 3,700-pound automobile.


Year Date Day
2022 February 26 Saturday
2023 February 25 Saturday
2024 February 24 Saturday
2025 February 22 Saturday
2026 February 28 Saturday