Move over Halloween, National Magic Day takes the spotlight this October 31. Magic Day actually takes place during National Magic Week, which is an entire week dedicated to celebrating the art of allusion and the craft of magicians everywhere! And while Harry Houdini may be the most famous illusionist out there, there is plenty to celebrate this week and day!
History of National Magic Day
Magic shows with magicians and their assistants doing disappearing acts and pulling rabbits out of hats may seem to be an innocuous and even childish pastime but did you know that magic as we know it today actually has its origins in ancient Egypt when the first conjuring act was recorded?
Magic has surprisingly played a relatively large role in history, especially in Western societies — from the first magic tricks and acts to the more notorious hunting of witches, and today’s illusions and literary fascination with fantasy.
Although it is popular, and often associated with a children’s pastime today, magic was considered to be demonic in the Middle Ages — a trend that lasted at least until the Salem witch trials in the United States in the late 17th century when women were tested for being witches by being tossed in a lake: if you could swim you were executed for being a witch and if you couldn’t, you drowned with a clear name.
It was in the mid-19th century when magic shows became a fun social event, culminating with masters like Harry Houdini, who ruled the magic scene until his death in 1926. It was actually his death that inspired Houdini Day, which was later renamed by the Society of American Magicians to Magic Day. It would later become the finale in their Magic Week!
National Magic Day timeline
Dedi performs the first recorded act of a conjuring effect with balls in ancient Egypt.
On All Hallow’s Eve, the legendary card- and handcuff master dies of a ruptured appendix.
Less than one year after the famous magician’s death, Houdini Day is established before later becoming immortalized as Magic Day.
The most successful and wealthiest commercial magician is born in New Jersey.
National Magic Day FAQs
Who are some famous magicians to research?
Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, and David Blaine are some of the most famous magicians of all time.
What are the easiest magic tricks to learn?
A serious magician will never tell. But a good card trick will convince just about anyone that you’ve got a special, or magical, set of skills.
When is Magic Week?
Magic Week takes place the last seven days of October: October 25 through October 31.
Are any magic tricks real?
Illusions most certainly are! However, as far as the so-called inexplicable ‘magic’ is involved, well, let’s just say we’re still waiting for even an inkling of proof.
MAGIC DAY ACTIVITIES
Learn a magic trick
Ever wondered how those deceitfully simple rings work? Or how illusionists are experts in ‘sawing someone in half’? There’s no time like the present to find out!
Attend a magic show
On All Hallow’s Eve, there are sure to be magic shows afoot to accompany all the other fantasy-themed endeavors! Catch a magic show or, if you can’t find one, hire your own magician to see the latest tricks and illusions.
Watch a magic-themed movie
“The Illusionist,” “Now You See It,” “The Prestige,” and so many more — there are dozens of blockbuster flicks dedicated to your favorite magicians. Pop one in and pop some popcorn, you’re in for a magical ride.
5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT DIVINATION
It can predict the future
By requesting information from the supernatural, divination can help its practitioners learn their futures.
It’s as old as mankind
Humans have attempted to communicate with the supernatural for help in their lives since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians.
Harry Potter attempted it
Sure, it was never his favorite class, but Harry Potter and co. had an interesting experience with their divination professor and reading tea leaves in their fourth year.
Kings and presidents summon it
Modern monarchs and leaders have been known to seek various forms of communication with the beyond to help them make informed political decisions.
While divination may have been something more specific originally, today it encompasses a variety of magical sources including tarot cards and daily horoscopes.
WHY WE LOVE National Magic Day
It helps us stay youthful
We’re not talking about the fabled Fountain of Youth. Magic tricks are a critical component of our childhood, so seeing any kind of illusionist perform ‘magic’ is sure to bring up a happy nostalgia.
It puts a little something extra in the mundane
Daily life can get a bit, well, boring. Let Magic Day put a little spark in your day-to-day with a little illusion that’ll keep you guessing for days.
It keeps us on our toes
Nothing says “stay alert” quite like the fear of being subjected to a prank or a trick! Go to a magic show and you’ll be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how your favorite tricks are done while you’re on constant alert for the next one.
National Magic Day dates