Circus is certainly one of the earliest ways of entertainment. Of course, it wasn’t always like we know it today. The ancient Romans, for instance, had there own sort of circus, where the spectators could see gladiators fighting against each other, or sometimes even against animals. There were also chariot races and horse tricks for those who enjoyed a little less bloody show. The circus as we know it today have existed from the late 1700s when an ex cavalry officer, Philip Astley opened a horse riding school in London. In order to lure more people to his school, he would showcase his horse riding skills, performing all kinds of stunts, like riding a horse on his hands, standing on a moving horse or even jumping from one horse to another in full gallop. What he didn’t realized at a time is that he was carving a path to the first circus. Soon, he started adding other performances to his show, like acrobats and sword-swallowers and the circus is born.
When you look at the circus today, it may no longer be as popular as it was in the 19th century, but a visit to it can still bring a lot of joy to the entire family. I must admit that I am still happy as a small kid when a big circus comes to my town, namely because of 5 specific acts.
The first one of those is fire breathing. As a kid, it always amazed me how those people were able to swallow fire without anything happening to them, like scorching their throat. I even once attempted this myself, but fortunately, stopped short because the flame was to hot. Good thing that I did that, because these people actually use a special fuel that will only start once it is sprayed from their mouth into a tiny gust of mist in front of them.
Clowns. Of course, no circus would be complete without these hilarious pranksters. Dressed in all sorts of colors and usually in garments that seem too large for them, they are there to entertain the entire audience, but most of all the kids. You never know what they will do, so don’t be surprised or angry if you get a pie in the face or they spray you with water. It’s all just for fun. And there is certainly nothing more hilarious than when the two clowns get into a “fight”.
Animal acts are something that is bringing the most controversy to the circus, especially in recent years. A lot of organizations are advocating that the use of animals should be banned from the circus. While it is true that there have been a number of animal cruelties, which you can sometimes see for yourself in the middle of the act, when a trainer uses his whip on the animals (for me that’s a cue to leave the circus), most circuses still treat their animals with a lot of love and care.