Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Boccaccio's time - Medieval period (part4)


Holidays and Festivals

The Medieval people of the Middle Ages shared a common life in the work of the fields, in the sports of the village green, and in the services of the parish church. They enjoyed many holidays; it has been estimated that, besides Sundays, about eight weeks in every year were free from work. Festivities at Christmas, Easter, and May Day, at the end of ploughing and the completion of harvest, relieved the monotony of the daily round of labor.

The Entertainers

 Who were the people who provided the entertainment during the Middle Ages? The Medieval entertainers of the Middle Ages including Jesters (A fool or buffoon at medieval courts), Mummers (Masked or costumed merrymaker or dancers at festivals), Minstrels and Troubadours, acrobats and jugglers and conjurers.

Games and Entertainment

Medieval Games of the Middle Ages were popular in all walks of society. Games were played by the upper  classes and the Lower classes, by adults and children. Different types of games and entertainment fell into a number of different categories including Card Games, Board Games, Dice Games, and Sporting Games and Children's games. Frequently, these games were played for money or honors, and therefore they are the ancestors of the modern day's casino games such as craps, online slots, or roulette. The following board games were played  and enjoyed as entertainment during the middle ages:

  • Chess
  • Backgammon
  • Alquerques
  • Fox and Geese
  • Knucklebones
Outdoor Entertainment

  • Archery
  • Gameball
  • Bowls
  • Colf - the ancestor of Golf
  • Hammer - throwing
  • Hurling - a similar game to Hockey
  • Wrestling
Outdoor entertainment also included the practices of certain festivals including May Day when people danced around a maypole and choose a May Queen. Religious plays were re-enacted by the Mummers.

Entertainment for rich people

Entertainment for rich people centered around the spectacles of jousting and feasts or banquets. The Medieval Period of the Middle Ages becoming more refined and elegant and the concept of courtly love was introduced and displayed at both tournaments and jousts. The sumptuous feasts and banquets also provided
entertainment for rich people during the Middle Ages. During the feast musicians would play and provide musical entertainment. After feasting entertainment might be provided by minstrels, troubadours, jesters, acrobats, fire-eaters and conjurers. The dance was also important as part of "courtly love" entertainment. Knights were expected not only to fight but also to dance.

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