Tour Scotland Video Sword Swallower St Andrew’s Day St Andrews Fife

Tour Scotland video of a sword swallower on Market Street at a St Andrew’s Day event in Market Street on ancestry visit to St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. Sword swallowing is a skill in which the performer passes a sword through the mouth and down the esophagus to the stomach. This feat is not swallowing in the traditional sense; the natural processes that constitute swallowing do not take place, but are repressed in order to keep the passage from the mouth to the stomach open for the sword. The practice is dangerous and there is risk of injury. Sword swallowing has a long and varied history. Sword swallowing spread to Greece and Rome in the 1st century AD and to China in the 8th century. In Japan, it became a part of the Japanese acrobatic theatre, Sangaku, which included fire eating, tightrope walking, juggling and early illusion. In Europe it developed into yet a third distinct type of performance associated with the medieval jongleurs, that of the street performance.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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