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Festivals and Celebrations in Medieval England

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Vahe Yacoubian

on 10 October 2013

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Transcript of Festivals and Celebrations in Medieval England


Festivals and Celebrations in Medieval England

An Introduction to the Festivals and Celebrations in Medieval England.
The English Festivals were unique and popular during the medieval times. They were so popular, that most of their festivals are celebrated today, such as April Fools and Halloween.
Religious Festivals I
England was a deeply Christian Country during the Medieval Ages. The Norman Conquest led to religious prosperity. Religious Festivals occurred at least once a month and were very popular Festivals to attend and to celebrate amongst the people.
Grand Feasts large enough to include the lay people.

Tournaments, such as jousting, to have fun and to entertain the crowd.

Dances and games amongst the people keep them happy and entertained.

Bonfires are usually lit at night to provide warmth and light to allow the festivities to continue

Impact of Festivals
Festivals are a period of time that people stop working to celebrate an event whether secular or religious. People of all ages and all ranks would get together and enjoy a great time together, putting aside any worries or woes in their lives. Christian Traditions were also preserved to include some current day Holidays.
January
A Twelve night festival and celebration of the visiting wise men that approached Jesus Christ at his birth. This religious festival was celebrated with an honorable grand feast. The celebrations would begin in December and end on January 5.
February
The Festival of St. Valentine's Day. People would celebrate this festival by showing love to one another along with singing, dancing and duo games (Games with a couple)
These are accompanied with the Feast of St. Valentine.
March
Easter is celebrated

Two celebrations:
1) Good Friday
2) Easter Monday
Religious Festivals II
The fall and Winter months of October, November and December include the most feasting and celebration.
October 25 is the celebration of St. Crispin's day.



During this celebration, people behold a festival that took place during the night. This festival included includes drinking (alcoholic beverages) and bonfires as people would act as the King Crispin.
October
November
Halloween was celebrated in medieval England November 1st. However, today's Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. Halloween is the Festival of the Day of the Dead, or, All Hallow's Day (Halloween). During Halloween the bonfires were lit at night to honor the dead. Modern day Halloween has been evolved to include wearing scary masks of the
undead
, such as
ghosts
and
ghouls.

December
Christmas celebrations begin and continue to include the 5th of January. During Christmas, gift-giving and grand feasts were held in Christmas festivals. During Christmas, the English would regularly attend Church and discover more about the word of God inside the Bible and repent their sins before beginning the New Year.
What is included in the Festivals?
September
On September 25, Michaelmas is celebrated. The festival includes the celebration of the life of St. Michael and the traditional food eaten are either goose or chicken
August
On August 2nd, Lammas Day is celebrated. Lammas is also known as the "loaf-mass" day and has a festival of the first wheat harvest of the year.
Works Cited
1) "Daily Life in Medieval Europe -Festivals." Daily Life in Medieval Europe -Festivals. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2013. <http://pengzi.maruzen.com/ian/m_europe/14festivals.htm>.

2) "Holidays and Celebrations." Holidays and Celebrations. Medieval-life.net, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2013. <http://www.medieval-life.net/festivals.htm>.

3)"Religious Festivals." Religious Festivals. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2013. <http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/religious-festivals.htm>.
July
Religious festival of St. Swithin's Day is celebrated. Legend has it that the remains of St. Swithin were moved. After the festival, rain began to fall for 40 consecutive days.
April
On April 1, April Fool's Day is celebrated. On this day, the jesters known as the Lords of Misrule, took control of the day and spread the jokes and jests throughout Medieval Europe.
May
The Festival May Day is celebrated in May. The Festival began when Queen of May was elected by the peasants, and in joy, they danced around the maypole.
June
The Midsummer Eve Festival is celebrated in May. This festival is also incorporated with the "Festival of Fire", where bones are placed inside a fire, hence the word (bone+fire= Bonfire)




This Medieval Festival influenced Shakespeare's play - Midsummer Night's Dream
Vahe Yacoubian's Guide to...
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