National Merry-Go-Round Day  

National Merry-Go-Round Day

Today we"re celebrating a necessary staple of fairs, carnivals, and boardwalks: the merry-go-round. You may know it as a carousel, like the Golden Gallopers Carousel at the seaside in Brighton, England, seen in today"s photo. The word "carousel" is possibly derived from the Spanish "carosella," meaning "little war." Carousels have a history that goes back centuries, with roots in medieval jousting competitions. As the war game grew in popularity, commoners without horses wanted to participate, and carousels with wooden horses soon appeared at fairgrounds. The popularity of carousels led to many advancements over the years, including the up and down galloping menagerie of animals real and imagined, and the instantly recognizable music that became widespread after 1803.

© Graham Prentice/Alamy

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