World Circus Day

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World Circus Day
World Circus Day

Annually, on the third Saturday in April, World Circus Day emerges as a platform to promote awareness of the circus arts, spotlighting both amateur and professional performers.

In contrast to ancient Roman circuses, today's circus showcases a significant transformation. Fortunately, contemporary circuses have veered away from the violent spectacles of fighting gladiators and animal slaughter that characterized events in ancient Rome. The term "circus" itself traces its origins to the Latin word for circle, reflecting the circular amphitheaters where Romans staged their events. Despite evolving over the years, the core objective of circuses remains constant: captivating and entertaining the masses.

History and Background

  • Date: The third Saturday of April each year.
  • Establishment: World Circus Day was initiated by the World Circus Federation, founded by H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco, in 2010.
  • Purpose: To celebrate the rich heritage of the circus, promote the circus arts, and support the circus community worldwide.


  • Celebrate Circus Arts: Recognize and celebrate the artistic, cultural, and entertainment value of the circus.
  • Raise Awareness: Increase public awareness of the circus as a form of art and entertainment.
  • Support the Circus Community: Support circus artists, performers, and professionals, acknowledging their contributions and challenges.
  • Cultural Exchange: Promote cultural exchange and understanding through the universal language of the circus.

Importance of the Circus

  • Cultural Heritage: The circus has a long history and is an important part of cultural heritage in many countries.
  • Entertainment: Circus performances entertain and bring joy to audiences of all ages with their unique blend of acrobatics, clowning, juggling, and more.
  • Artistic Expression: Circus arts combine physical prowess with artistic creativity, offering a unique form of expression.
  • Community Engagement: Circus performances and activities often bring communities together and provide opportunities for social engagement.

Activities and Celebrations

  • Circus Performances: Special performances by circus troupes and individual artists, often including traditional and contemporary acts.
  • Workshops and Classes: Workshops and classes to teach various circus skills such as juggling, acrobatics, and clowning.
  • Parades and Festivals: Parades, festivals, and public events celebrating the circus, featuring performances, street entertainers, and more.
  • Open Houses: Circus schools and companies may host open house events, offering behind-the-scenes tours and interactive activities.
  • Educational Programs: Programs and activities to educate the public about the history and significance of the circus, often targeting schools and communities.

How to Participate

  • Attend Events: Go to local circus performances, festivals, and events to support and enjoy the art of the circus.
  • Learn Circus Skills: Participate in workshops or classes to learn and practice circus skills.
  • Support Circus Artists: Show support for circus performers and professionals by attending their shows and following their work.
  • Share on Social Media: Use social media to share your experiences and promote World Circus Day using hashtags like #WorldCircusDay.
  • Organize Events: If you have the resources, organize local events, such as a small circus show or a community workshop, to celebrate the day.

Organizations Involved

  • World Circus Federation: The main organization behind World Circus Day, promoting the circus arts globally and supporting circus communities.
  • Circus Schools and Companies: Various circus schools, companies, and troupes around the world participate in World Circus Day activities.
  • Cultural Institutions: Museums, cultural centers, and educational institutions often collaborate in hosting events and educational programs.

Impact of World Circus Day

  • Cultural Preservation: Helps preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the circus.
  • Increased Visibility: Raises the profile of circus arts and draws attention to the work and talent of circus artists.
  • Community Building: Strengthens community bonds through shared celebration and appreciation of the circus.
  • Support for Artists: Provides recognition and support for circus artists, helping to sustain their livelihoods and careers.

Circus History and Notable Facts

  • Origins: The modern circus has its origins in the late 18th century, with Philip Astley credited as the father of the modern circus.
  • Evolution: Over the years, the circus has evolved, incorporating new acts and styles while preserving traditional elements.
  • Global Presence: Circuses are a global phenomenon, with notable circuses such as Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and The Moscow State Circus.

By celebrating World Circus Day, individuals and communities can honor the tradition and artistry of the circus, enjoy the excitement and wonder of circus performances, and support the vibrant global circus community.