Medieval Entertainment and Games
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Transcript of Medieval Entertainment and Games
Medieval Entertainment and GamesEmma Taylor6th period
IntroductionDuring the Medieval Times, life could be very stressful. Harsh daily life allowed for breaks to have fun and let people enjoy themselves. Medieval society did participate in many games and recreational activities. Some included: feasts, games, and a variety of sports, tournaments, gambling, music, performing artists and entertainers, plays, and reading.
FeastsFeasting was a big deal in the Middle Ages. Feasts were held during celebrations, festivals, and holidays.
FestivalsMost people in Europe during this time were estimated to have eight weeks in every year off from work during the holidays, many that included festivals. Religious festivals included miracle plays and feasts. The Midsummer Solstice, held on June 23, was celebrated in most towns. It was also known as the feast of the Eve of St. John. Christmas was also celebrated along with St.Stwithsuns Day, which marked the richness of the harvest.
GamesThe games played in this time were the beginning of some games we still play today. Games included charades, follow the leader, and marbles. Bowling, prisoners base, blind mans bluff, checkers, backgammon, mancala, fishing, hunting, hawking, card games, and cricket were also very common.Reading was another enjoyment to the medieval society. Many could not read, so others would read to them.
SportsThere were many different types of sports in the Middle Ages. Most of these were designed to increase skills and fitness of fighting men. Some popular sports included archery, skittles (an ancestor of modern ten-pin bowling), colf (the ancestor of golf and a sport for the nobles), gameball (simple football), hammer-throwing, hurling or shinty (a game similar to hockey), horseshoes, jousting at tournaments, stoolball (an ancestor of cricket), and wrestling.
SportsMany sports were accompanied by gambling for entertainment, which was common at jousting tournaments. Knights would incorporate training in recreation, by performing gymnastics and running foot races. Like many medieval sports, rowing was a work activity that could be turned into a competition. These competitions were called regattas. A game similar to this and jousting was water jousting. Boats rowed toward one another like the horses did in a tournament and one person in each boat with a wooden lance and attempted to knock their enemy out of the boat.
SportsA sport called rounders was played by everyone in medieval England. It is generally considered the ancestor of modern baseball. Running contests were held at festivals and had different age groups for women, children, and old men. The distances could be as short as four hundred feet or as long as ten thousand feet. Stone lifting and putting was still popular from the Greek Olympics. Most often, the person who lifts the heaviest weight is the winner. Swimming in the public baths or other bodies of water became a sport to many people.
SportsSome would play a game called water wrestling where each player would try to hold the opponent under water until he gave up. Swimmers also competed over distances, swimming out from shore to a marked point and back. Diving competitions were conducted by seeing who could dive the farthest for depth and seeing who could remain under water the longest. The primary weapons for medieval European warfare were swords. If a knight was named his sword, he kept it with him all the time. Sword fights were a common part of tournaments. Tennis began in France as a handball game, but real tennis was played with a racquet and played only by the wealthy.
TournamentsA tournament was a battle in which prisoners were taken and put into a situation similar to one on the battlefield. As time passed, tournaments became more entertaining rather than practice wars, with betting, dancing, and music. Jousting, a popular England sport became extremely popular during the fourteenth century. The one-to-one combat with a variety of weapons could be carried out on horseback or foot. Jousts were usually at the beginning of the tournament.
MusicMusic was important in medieval life and especially popular during the time of celebration and festivities. Some instruments included violins, drums, harps, recorders, trumpets, whistles, bells, lutes, organs, citoles, psalteries, flutes, and horns. Minstrels (servants first employed as a castle or court musician) and jugglers were often a part of traveling bands and players. Medieval music mainly consisted of the music of the church. During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Troubadours (a travelling musician) , Trouveres and Minstrels were the poets and musicians that influenced the Middle Ages by singing songs of courtly love (nobly expressing love and admiration).
MusicMusic was uplifting especially at weddings, birthdays, and other parties. On Mayday, dancers would dance to prepared, high- pitched music because they believed that by doing this, the hibernating spirits would be awakened that spring had arrived. At Christmas, the sound of bells brought the good news of Jesus birth. People during this time period also liked to listen to music while they ate. They thought that the music was not just nice to listen to, but that it helped with the digestion of food. All medieval music was performed in unison. The notes were usually the same length and song. Harmonies were slowly introduced during this time and were a method of music notation by the twelfth century.