National Sword Swallower’s Day in St. Augustine

I don’t know how they do it.  Really.  What possesses a person to even try to swallow a sword?  How does it work, or is it all just made up?  When I was a kid, a boy next door had one of these fake, plastic swords that collapse when you pushed a button. You could make it look real, without any trouble.  I was wondering if that’s what they do, the real sword swallowers.

What made me start thinking about the whole thing was a press release that showed up in my inbox the other day.  It’s a mad, mad world – at least at Odditoriums around the world when Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is “crossing swords” with the Sword Swallower’s Association for a special celebration of the Annual World Sword Swallower’s Day.  Nowadays everyone seems to have a “day”,  so why should sword swallowers be any different.  Go “Forth and Swallow” I say.

A Bitter Pill To Swallow

Back to the issue at hand, is it real or is it all a fake? To find the answer, I went and did some research online. The first place I visited was of course the – a website with a lot of general information about…should we say, the sport or maybe the art form?

Before you click on the link below, I must warn you. I found these xrays a bit difficult to stomach, but the images proved it to me.  There’s no magic or funny business going on here. All you have to do is to repress reflexes in your throat so you can swallow the sword.  Sounds like a logical explanation, but I’m wondering how on earth you practice to get to that point?

If you feel inclined to learn more about sword swallowing, and you want to check out the xrays for yourself – click here.  Remember, I did warn you.
Watch xrays of sword swallowers here
I still wonder, who wakes up one day and says “I really would like to learn how to swallow a sword”?  Apparently some people do, and on February 28th sword swallowers will be performing around the world to honor the special Sword Swallower’s day.

The event takes place on February 28 at exactly 2:28 pm.  Get it – 02/28/2015 – all this is  in celebration of the Annual World Sword Swallowers Day at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Nerves of Steel
It all started a long, long time ago.  Actually the art of sword swallowing began more than 4,000 years ago in India.  According to the information we received the practitioner “uses mind-over-matter techniques to control the body and repress natural reflexes to insert solid steel blades from 15 to 25 inches down the esophagus and into the stomach”.  Sword swallowers used to be common in traveling circuses, but now there are less than a few dozen full-time professional sword swallowers around the world.


For more information, visit