Dusseldorf Cartwheel Competition
A visit to Düsseldorf, Germany might make you want to do a cartwheel or two. Go ahead, you won’t be the only one. The local Germans love to express their joy by cartwheeling all the time! Legend has it that cartwheels are a common sight here since 1288. The city founded an annual cartwheel championship in 1937, and now more than 700 boys and girls from up to 15 countries compete every year.
It's well-known that kids, adults and even the senior citizens of Düsseldorf randomly perform cartwheels around town for fun. It's even common to see children performing amazing cartwheels for a dime or two from the tourists.
As an expression of joy, doing cartwheels these days certainly makes sense. The World could take a lesson from Düsseldorf as happiness is at an all-time high amongst the people in the city. Everyone is so happy that Düsseldorf ranks #6 in the World for quality of life!
Lots of Legends
There are several legends about how the tradition of cartwheeling for joy and how it started in Düsseldorf. One says it happened in 1288, when Düsseldorf won a fierce battle of war and children ran into the streets doing cartwheels to celebrate. Another legend talks about a boy who jumped and held the wheel of Prince Jan Willem’s carriage for safety after it broke in an accident, turning him into a living wheel.
The city is also covered with artwork and statues of cartwheelers, the most famous being a Cartwheel Fountain in the city’s historic Old Town square. Even manhole covers and the doorknob at the famous Lambertus Church feature cartwheels.
The next event will take place July 7, 2013, outdoors in the city center. Teams of boys and girls in the age groups 8-10 and 11-12 from schools in several countries compete in the championship. The children race each other doing cartwheels over a distance of 50 – 65 feet and are judged in speed or style. Each year more than 700 children participate.
Have Your Say...
What do you think about the Cartwheel Competition? Let us now in the comments below.