Festivals and festivities had always been an important part of every single civilisation, every single societal structure is it in the western lands or the Asian stretches as well. Whatever be the time period, the chronological era, get together and merry making had always been in vogue.
In this case, medieval festivals do require special mention. An array of pompous festivals were arranged , organised , celebrated among the medieval hoi polloi to celebrate achievements , conquering lands , a successful invasion over a foreign territory , honouring a prince or a king , city fairs , harvests , entertainment for knights , rejoicing after hectic war fares , general refreshments under the then societal currents and much more .
Many a time, friendly sports and other tournaments were the centers of attraction around which festivals were organised and arranged. In that ambiance of medieval conundrum and instability regarding warfare, foreign invasions and knights remaining prepared for attacking and defense, these were the festivals that used to break the essence of monotony. We get to know about an array of such medieval festivals from the pages of history , from the medieval manuscripts , the medieval sculptures , paintings , castles , and other forms of medieval art as well .
- The Brevard Renaissance Fair requires special mention that was evidently arranged in Florida.
- The Bristol Renaissance Fair arranged in Wisconsin also deserved mention among all the other festivities of the medieval period
- The Camelot days medieval festival of Florida is another one to be added here to the list
- Canterbury renaissance fair of Oregon is mention worthy as well
Medieval religious festivals
We get mentions of a plethora of religious festivals too such as visit of wise men, twelfth knight visit celebration, the Valentine’s Day, the visit of the Magi. These were for honouring and love making, pairing games. There are many more such as the Easter day, the all fools day…
These are followed by a few more such as the spring festival, the festival of fire. St Swithin’s day was also celebrated by spreading lexical myths among the folks. The Lamma’s day and the Crispin’s day were also celebrated which had their own medieval stories and explanations. The day of dead or the all souls day was celebrated too and last but not the least, the birth of Jesus Christ, the Christmas day was celebrated with greater pomp in the medieval era.
The legacy of most of the festivals remains constant till date and is still celebrated with the same pomp in many parts of Europe. The medieval fairs had economic reasons to be held because trading had gained much centrality and salience in the medieval lands. Fairs were the places of economic exchange, cultural mingling and traditions to amalgamate as well.
The religious festivals were not that staunch in nature and showed some secular traits too. These were the places for cultural exchange and enhanced the integrity, unity, religious preaching too. in fact festivals were the only occasions when the hoi polloi used to meet the local merchants , merchants from foreign lands , foreign visitors , the royals , the knights and also the religious heads of the empire ( the priests ) .