While researching images to use for this week’s MotD theme: Lights, photos of carousels and merry go rounds appeared, all decorated with bright colorful lights, going round and round. With that I found my inspiration for this week’s Mandala of the Week. In particular, the Holyoke Carousel located in Massachusetts inspired the patterns in this mandala.
The first fair rides that spin their riders appeared in 6th century and they originated in ancient Byzantium where people tied baskets to a center pole and spun people that set in them around. Carousels that we know today evolved from jousting games of 12th century Europe and Asia. Knights of that time would ride in circle and throw glass balls filled with perfumed water between themselves – which required great skill and horsemanship. Those that would drop the ball and break it would smell of perfume and be ashamed of their lesser skills. This game was called “little battle” or “garosello” in Italian and “carosella” in Spanish from where we have today’s word “carousel.” In 17th century, the game was changed. Riders now had to spear small rings that were hanging over their heads. There was no more jousting but cavalry spectacles remained and commoners started participating in them. It became more and more acceptable for commoners (instead of just knight) to participate in “little battles” and a first children’s carousel was made in 17th century just for kids and with small wooden horses.
“Each generation must get on the same old merry-go-round, only disguised in a fresh coat of paint.” ~
Katherine Anne Porter
The Mandala Lady