The history of Christmas carnivals
Carnivals are in Vogue. To deny it does not make sense. Venice, Rio de Janeiro, new York… Corporate Christmas party. children’s parties and family events… Snow white, evil, Cinderella, squirrels and bunnies, snowflakes and icicles.
Adults and children play. Masks hide your face. Dressing as an opportunity to implement the unfulfilled childhood dreams and fantasies. What can I say, for the carnival bright future. And no less significant past. About it today, and remember. For this reason we need to dress in medieval costumes, because in this era we go.
Medieval society was not spoiled for various events and parties.
The Church had over the people of enormous power, which has affected almost all aspects of human life. And, of course, fun Church, to put it mildly, were not favoured. For example, here is what they say about dancing in a medieval treatise the early 15th century: “the Dance is a circle (medieval dances were canavalis in a circle – a comment AVT.), where center is the devil himself”. The author of this work, referring to St. Augustine, and notices that dancing are allies of evil. However, no prohibitions could prevent the development of holidays, including carnival and culture in the cities of the middle Ages.
Now. City holidays this time, with their bright spectacles, entertainment and masquerades ascended back to the pagan cults and rituals. So, Christmas pagan Roman festival of the Kalends, which the Church has opposed your Christmas cycle, in Byzantium coped up to the thirteenth century.
The Christmas Kalends (January 1-5) preceded brumalia (from 24 November to 17 December), accompanied carnival mummers parades and dances, which originally imitated the various steps in the harvesting and wine making. Costumed famously danced and sang songs ridiculing the nobles, the clergy and judicial officials. From 17 to 23 December coped unbridled merry Saturnalia, circus performances. All the action ended with the sacrifice of a pig. During the calendar mummers ridiculed solely the highest authority. The Church does all of this attributed to the machinations of the devil himself.
In addition to this type of fun where men instead of going to Church went simply to binge. In some European cities even imposed a ban on the operation of taverns during the holidays. Well, as we do during mass celebrations. There were other celebrations – the actual carnivals. We must say at once that they were held for several days, thereby taking people from work. Of course, both the government and the Church were unhappy, but there has been nothing.
The most fun and memorable, so to speak, were the Christmas masquerades and mystery. About the last I want to say a few words separately. The authors of the mysteries were scholars, theologians, lawyers, doctors. Despite the fact that he supervised the productions of the higher bourgeoisie of the city, the mysteries were areal mass of Amateur art. In representations involving hundreds of people. A vivid example of the early mysteries can serve as a huge (50 thousand verses, 242 actors) “the Mystery of the old Testament”, which contained 38 individual episodes. Its main characters were a God, angels, Lucifer, Adam and eve. In the mystery showing the creation, the rebellion of Lucifer against God, biblical miracles. Then the mystery began to put on everyday topics that are most worried about the public. However, in 1548 in France, where the mysteries were the most developed, of the Royal authority, they were banned. By this time the mystery is not supported neither the kings nor the Church – too frankly there were derided by representatives of these government agencies.
But back to the medieval city and public action that happened there. Let’s look at the main square. Here gathered the main actors of carnivals – simply put, the entire city.
Immediately unfolded vagrant theater for everyone and free of charge at all showed farces and comedies. Where in allegorical form, derided human qualities such as greed, avarice, lies, etc. Modern man such representations are not particularly interesting, because in the middle ages people thought. We have lost over the centuries.
In addition to this mandatory attribute of any carnival costume. as a mask, there were others no less important. For example, comic guruguy that masked out on the street. In some cities dressed people lined up in random columns and so walked the streets. In the process of walking out the superintendent or best man, who was responsible for all the actions of the crowd. Sometimes with it, the authorities raised the money for the security Deposit, in case of the defeat of something public, into the city Treasury. It should be noted that it was quite a large amount. If everything went more or less normally, the money returned to the owner.
Not only theatrical performances and walking on the streets were the main activities during the carnival. Don’t forget about the dancing. In the middle ages they were divided into folk and courtiers. This here is a clear manifestation of the hierarchy. Sometimes, however, it was a hodgepodge, and the courtiers dancing out in the streets, of course, with some flaws. In essence, urban or folk dances differed from their locking counterparts in its simplicity, gaiety and naturalness. Danced all. From members of the Royal family of rich feudal to citizens and the poorest peasants. Indeed – it was a favorite fun people of that era. And even the plague – the great attack of the middle Ages found its reflection in the dancing. Existed and now exists in the reconstruction of the so-called “Dance of death”. Quite beautiful and unusual sight.
Here’s a little insight into history. Spend carnivals and make your long-held dream: to become day Queens, princesses, bunnies, squirrels, knights, French soldiers of 1812, the hussars and Grand dames. And you will be happy.