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Walk on Stilts Day
Walk on Stilts Day – a day dedicated to movement, which we can see in the circus or at festivals and fairs – on stilts. Did you know that people learned to move on stilts in ancient Greece, namely in the 6th century BC. A person stood on special poles, which were fastened with a system of belts.
The History of stilts is centuries old, during this time many types have appeared – manual, spring, peg, articulated and finger-shaped. Until the 15th century, the people of Belgium used stilts for practical purposes, if it was necessary to perform work in muddy areas, as well as in jousting tournaments.
At the beginning of the 15th century, the Count of Namur issued a decree forbidding the use of stilts at any event and for any work. Another country where the history of stilts is common is France. Here they were used by shepherds when it became necessary to move through damp, swampy terrain.
In the 19th century, when the swamps were dried up, the need for stilts disappeared, but they continued to be used in agricultural marathons as a recreational element. Today it is exclusively part of the theatrical performance, common in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands.
- In California, aluminum stilts continue to be used in agriculture for harvesting, as well as for repair work – installing ceilings, fixing drywall sheets.
- The most famous group of stilt walkers in Brooklyn is the Moko Jambi, who stand out in oversized costumes with extravagant robes. Their stilts are 17 feet high.
- Over the years of existence, stilts have become a universal device that has been used in art, agriculture, and construction.
- In the retinue of Empress Josephine there were people on stilts, they accompanied her on trips and kept up with the horses.
- During the marathon in London, races are held on stilts, and Michel Frost managed to overcome the marathon distance on stilts in 6.5 hours.
How to celebrate
The first thing that comes to mind is walking on stilts or attending a theatrical performance where actors move on high poles. If you want to learn how to use stilts, start with small devices available at any sporting goods store. Gather a group of friends and have a fun and relaxed time in the park. Watch some tutorial videos in advance or check out the London Marathon, which takes place every year in the British capital.
When is Walk on Stilts Day celebrated in 2022?
Walk on Stilts Day is observed on July 27 each year.