No amusement park would be complete without a classic roller coaster or merry-go-round. But the oldest of these rides was first depicted in 500 AD during the Byzantine Empire.

Baskets that carried a rider were suspended from a central pole that whirled around in a circle. The more modern carousel was inspired by the sport of jousting, but not the dangerous medieval kind. Apparently, in 12th century Europe and Asia, knights made a game of riding in a circle and tossing a glass ball filled with perfume at one another. This required great skill and horsemanship to avoid dropping the ball, which would prove a shameful and smelly defeat.

On National Merry-Go-Round Day, celebrate a classic ride that’s been around the block.

Today we also celebrate: National Hire a Veteran Day, National Hot Fudge Sundae Day, National Thread the Needle Day, and National Wine and Cheese Day.