National Hoop Day

Colorful image of people of all ages happily hula hooping, wearing vibrant activewear, in a sunny park surrounded by green trees and blue skies..
National hoop day illustration

Hey there hoop enthusiasts! Get ready to hula and jump for joy because it's National Hoop Day! This is the perfect time to grab your hoops and let the good times roll. Whether you're a seasoned hula hooper or just want to give it a whirl, National Hoop Day is all about celebrating the fun and fitness that comes with this entertaining activity. So, put on your dancing shoes and let's dive into the swirling world of hula hoops!

When is Hoop Day?

It's national hoop day on the 4th October.

The History of National Hoop Day

Did you know that hula hoops have been around for centuries? Yep, it's true! Although the hoop as we know it became popular in the 1950s, ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and Greeks were already familiar with the concept. They used hoops made from materials like grapevines and willow branches for both fun and exercise. In fact, there are even petroglyphs in Egypt that depict people playing with hoops!

Fast forward to the 1950s, when a toy manufacturing company called Wham-O introduced the plastic hula hoop to the masses. It quickly became a sensation, with kids and adults twirling their way to fun and fitness. The trend gained so much popularity that it was even declared a significant fad of the decade. And that's how the hula hoop craze began!

Celebrating National Hoop Day

On National Hoop Day, people from all over the world come together to enjoy the art of hula hooping. Whether it's a solo session in your backyard or a community event, there are many ways to celebrate this joyful day. Here are a few ideas:

  • Organize a hula hoop contest with your friends or co-workers. Who can keep the hoop spinning the longest? The winner gets the ultimate bragging rights!
  • Host a hula hoop dance party. Put on some groovy tunes and show off your hoop skills on the dancefloor. It's a guaranteed way to get the party started!
  • Take your hula hoop to a park or beach and share the fun with others. Encourage people to give it a try and spread the hoop love!

Did You Know?

Did you know that the world record for the longest hula hoop marathon is over 100 hours? That's more than four days of continuous hula hooping! Talk about dedication to the art of twirling!

History behind the term 'Hoop'


Origins in Medieval Europe

The term 'hoop' has its origins in Medieval Europe, specifically in the 1500s. During this time, 'hoop' referred to a circular band made of material such as wood or metal.

13th century

Early origins

The term 'hoop' can be traced back to the 13th century. It originated from the Old English word 'hōp', which referred to a band or ring made of wood or metal. Hoops were commonly used in various contexts, including as barrels, baskets, and even in the construction of arches in architecture.

15th century

Origins in the Middle Ages

The term 'hoop' has its origins in the Middle Ages, specifically in the 15th century. Back then, a hoop referred to a circular band or ring made of wood, metal, or even bone. These hoops were used for a variety of purposes, ranging from strengthening barrel staves to creating the framework for structures such as barrels and baskets. Hoops were also employed in games and various forms of entertainment.


Early Origins

The term 'hoop' traces its roots back to the 14th century, during the Middle English period. It was derived from the Old English word 'hoep,' meaning a curved or circular band. In early usage, 'hoop' referred to a circular object used for various purposes.

6000 BCE

Ancient Origins

The term 'hoop' traces its origins back to around 6000 BCE during the Neolithic period. The earliest evidence of the term can be found in ancient cave paintings and archaeological artifacts. In this early stage, a hoop referred to a circular object made from various materials such as vines, wood, or animal bones. These early hoops were likely used as hunting tools, decorative ornaments, or in various cultural ceremonies.


The Early Days

In the 1500s, the term 'hoop' first emerged in the English language. It originally referred to a circular band or ring made of metal or wood. These hoops were used for a variety of purposes, such as holding up skirts, forming the framework of barrels, or even as a child's toy. The term 'hoop' quickly became widely used and recognized across different fields and industries.


The Birth of the Hoop

In the 15th century, the term 'hoop' emerged to describe a circular band or ring made of wood, metal, or other materials. This term originated from the Middle English word 'hope', which meant a band or a binding. Hoops were initially used for a variety of purposes, including barrel and basket making.


Early Appearances in Art

The term 'hoop' has its origins in the early 1500s when it was commonly used to describe a circular ring or band. The word 'hoop' itself comes from the Middle Dutch word 'hope' and the Middle Low German word 'hop', both of which referred to a rounded object. During this time, the term 'hoop' began to appear in art, especially in paintings and tapestries, where it often depicted a ring or circular shape.


Hoop Skirts

In the 1800s, the term 'hoop' gained popularity in relation to fashion. 'Hoop skirts' became a prominent style, particularly among women. These skirts were named so because of the circular hoops or frames that were used to create their wide, voluminous shape.


Hoop Skirts and Fashion

In the 1700s, the term 'hoop' gained prominence with the advent of the hoop skirt. Hoop skirts, also known as panniers, were stiffened underskirts that created a wide and voluminous silhouette. These skirts were popular among women of the upper class and became a symbol of fashion and status. The term 'hoop' was used to describe the circular framework or structure that gave the skirt its distinctive shape.

1000 BCE

Hoop as a Sporting Equipment

Around 1000 BCE, the term 'hoop' took on a new meaning as it became associated with sports. The Ancient Greeks and Romans began using hoops made from iron or bronze as part of a game similar to modern-day basketball. Players would attempt to throw or roll a small ball through the hoops, scoring points based on the successful completion of the task. This early form of hoop-related sports provided entertainment and physical activity for communities.

19th century

The Hoop Skirt Craze

In the 19th century, the term 'hoop' gained immense popularity due to the widespread use of hoop skirts. The Victorian era witnessed a fashion trend where women's skirts were supported by hoops made of whalebone or steel. These hoop skirts, also known as crinolines, gave the illusion of a bell-shaped silhouette and became a symbol of femininity and elegance. The term 'hoop' became commonly associated with these fashionable undergarments.

16th century

Hoop skirts and fashion

In the 16th century, the term 'hoop' gained popularity in the world of fashion. Hoop skirts, also known as farthingales, became a stylish garment worn by women during this time. These skirts featured a frame made of whalebone or metal hoops sewn into the fabric, creating a voluminous and exaggerated shape. The use of the term 'hoop' to describe these skirts became widespread and is still associated with this fashion trend today.


Hoops in Fashion

During the 19th century, hoop skirts became a popular fashion trend among women. These skirts had multiple hoops made of steel or other materials attached to the underskirt, creating a bell shape. The term 'hoop' gained popularity in the context of fashion and was widely used to refer to the structural framework of these skirts.


The Hoop Skirt Era

During the 1800s, 'hoop' took on a new meaning and gained immense popularity. It became synonymous with the large circular frames worn underneath women's skirts, known as hoop skirts. These frames were made of flexible materials like whalebone or steel, creating a bell-shaped silhouette. The hoop skirt trend spread widely, and women from various social classes embraced this fashionable and iconic style. It symbolized femininity and elegance in that era.


Basketball's Contribution

The term gained prominence in the late 16th century thanks to the sport of basketball. In 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical education instructor, invented basketball and introduced the hoop as an essential element of the game. The hoop was initially made of a peach basket with a closed bottom. Players had to score by throwing the ball into the hoop, and hence the term 'hoop' became synonymous with basketball.

Late 19th century

Hula Hoop Revolution

The late 19th century saw the introduction of yet another iconic use of the term 'hoop.' In the 1950s, a company called Wham-O popularized the hula hoop, which was a plastic hoop that could be twirled around the hips as a form of exercise and amusement. This simple toy became a cultural phenomenon, captivating people of all ages. It even sparked hula hoop competitions and inspired the development of numerous other hoop-based activities, such as hoop dancing.


Hula Hoop Invention

The most famous association with the term 'hoop' is the invention of the Hula Hoop. It was in 1859 that a man named Arthur K. Melin and his business partner Richard Knerr co-founded a company called Wham-O. This company would later become known for its invention of the Hula Hoop, which quickly became a sensation in the 1950s.


Hula Hoop Craze

The term 'hoop' experienced a resurgence in popularity during the 1950s and 1960s with the introduction of the Hula Hoop. It was a toy hoop that became a global sensation. The Hula Hoop craze started in 1958 when the Wham-O company sold over 100 million plastic hoops within a few months. The term 'hoop' once again became associated with joy and amusement.


Hoop Skirts Fashion Trend

During the 1500s, the term 'hoop' gained significant popularity in the fashion world. Hoop skirts, also known as farthingales, became a prominent trend among European women. These skirts featured a circular frame made of whalebone or steel hoops that extended the width of the skirt, giving it a distinctive bell shape. Hoop skirts were a symbol of high fashion and were worn by noblewomen as a status symbol.


Hula Hoop Craze

The 1950s marked a significant milestone for the 'hoop' as it took a playful turn. In 1958, the Wham-O toy company introduced the Hula Hoop, a plastic hoop that became a sensational fad. The Hula Hoop reignited the popularity of the term 'hoop' and became a cultural phenomenon. Children and adults alike were captivated by the simple yet entertaining act of twirling and gyrating their hips to keep the hoop spinning. This toy had a lasting impact on playtime culture and continues to be enjoyed to this day.


Hula Hoop's Inventor

The 1800s marked a significant milestone in the history of the term 'hoop' with the invention of the hula hoop. In 1958, an Australian engineer named Arthur Melin developed the hula hoop using a plastic tube. The simple concept of a lightweight, hoop-shaped toy quickly caught on and became a global phenomenon. Children and adults alike embraced the joy of hula hooping, and the term 'hoop' became synonymous with this fun and playful activity.


The Invention of the Hula Hoop

It wasn't until the late 19th century that the term 'hoop' took on a new meaning with the invention of the hula hoop. In 1891, Thomas C. Edison filed a patent for a toy called the 'Hulabee,' which was a precursor to the modern hula hoop. The hula hoop quickly gained popularity and became a cultural phenomenon in the 1950s, sparking a global craze.

19th century

Hula hoops take the stage

The 19th century witnessed another significant development in the history of the term 'hoop' with the invention of the hula hoop. In 1858, a man named John Tyng patented a hula hoop made of wood. However, it was not until the 1950s and 1960s that hula hoops gained immense popularity as a toy. The term 'hoop' now became synonymous with the colorful plastic circular rings used for hula hooping, an activity enjoyed by children and adults alike.


Evolution in Fashion

In the 21st century, the term 'hoop' gained a new meaning in the world of fashion. Hoop earrings have been a popular accessory throughout history, but they experienced a resurgence in the early 2000s. Celebrities and fashion icons embraced hoop earrings, making them a trendy and must-have item. Hoop earrings have since become a symbol of style and self-expression.

20th century

Hoop earrings embrace fashion

Hoop earrings became a prominent accessory in the 20th century. This style of earring, characterized by its circular shape, soared in popularity across various cultures and fashion trends. 'Hoop' became the go-to term for this type of earring due to its shape. From delicate and small hoops to large and bold statement pieces, hoop earrings have become a timeless fashion staple, continuing to evolve and redefine personal style.


Digital Revolution

In the 21st century, the term 'hoop' has evolved alongside the rapid advancements in technology. It found a new association with hoops used in digital environments. 'Hoop' became synonymous with the action of jumping through a series of digital challenges or levels in video games or online platforms. The term became deeply ingrained in gaming culture, representing progress, skill, and achievement. It serves as a reminder of the ever-changing nature of language and how it adapts to modern contexts.


Hula Hoop Craze

The year 1958 marked the peak of the Hula Hoop craze. The simple toy, consisting of a plastic hoop that could be twirled around the waist, captured the imagination of people of all ages. Sales of Hula Hoops skyrocketed, and it became a symbol of fun and fitness during that time.


Evolution in Sports

In the 2000s, the term 'hoop' expanded its reach beyond the realms of fashion and entertainment and entered the world of sports. It became commonly associated with two prominent sports: basketball and hula hooping. Basketball, a game played with a hoop-shaped basket, derived its name from the term 'hoop.' Hula hooping, meanwhile, experienced a renaissance as a fitness activity, encouraging people to stay active and have fun. The term 'hoop' continued to evolve, reflecting the evolving cultural significance of these activities.

Present day

Versatile Symbol

Today, the term 'hoop' has a broader meaning and encompasses various objects and activities. From basketball hoops to earrings in the shape of hoops, the term is used to describe anything circular and ring-like. It has also become a metaphor for overcoming challenges, as in the phrase 'jumping through hoops.' The term 'hoop' illustrates the versatility of language and its ability to evolve and adapt to different contexts throughout history.


Revolution of the Hula Hoop

In the 1800s, the term 'hoop' entered a new era of popularity and entertainment with the introduction of the hula hoop. The modern-day hula hoop was inspired by a traditional Hawaiian dance called hula, where dancers used circular objects for various movements. In 1958, the Wham-O toy company introduced the plastic hula hoop, sparking a worldwide craze. Millions of hula hoops were sold, and people of all ages embraced the trend, enjoying the fun and physical activity associated with hooping.


Hoops in Popular Culture

In the 1960s, the term 'hoops' became associated with basketball, a sport that relies on shooting the ball through a circular hoop attached to a backboard. The popularity of basketball led to the term 'hoops' being used as a colloquialism for the sport itself. Today, 'hoops' is commonly used as a slang term for basketball.

Present day

Diverse meanings and references

In the present day, the term 'hoop' has extended its reach beyond its historical origins. It has become a versatile term used in various contexts, such as sports (e.g., basketball hoops), crafts (e.g., embroidery hoops), and other creative endeavors. 'Hoop' continues to be culturally significant, evolving and adapting to new uses and interpretations while preserving its rich history.


Contemporary Use

In contemporary times, the term 'hoop' continues to be used in various contexts. It is commonly associated with sports, particularly basketball, where the hoop refers to the circular goal or basket. Additionally, 'hoop' is utilized in modern slang, such as 'hoop earrings' or 'hoop nose rings,' which are types of jewelry that form a circular shape when worn.


Hoops in Contemporary Language

In modern times, the term 'hoop' has expanded its usage beyond its original meanings. It has become a metaphorical term used in various contexts to describe circular objects, structures, or activities. From earrings and bracelets referred to as 'hoops' to hoop dancing and hoop art, the term continues to evolve and adapt within different cultures and subcultures.

Present Day

Hoop as a Symbol of Unity and Expression

In the present day, the term 'hoop' has expanded beyond its original meanings and continues to thrive in various forms. Hooping has evolved into a popular form of dance and exercise, with skilled performers showcasing mesmerizing tricks and routines with hoops of different sizes and materials. Additionally, hoops are now used as symbolic objects in events like circuses, parades, and festivals, representing unity, inclusivity, and creativity. The hoop has become an emblem of celebration, joy, self-expression, and cultural exchange.

Did you know?

Did you know that the world record for the longest hula hoop marathon is over 100 hours? That's more than four days of continuous hula hooping! Talk about dedication to the art of twirling!


fun sports

First identified

12th May 2015

Most mentioned on

4th October 2015

Total mentions


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