Knight and Knaves - The Renaissance Faire & SCA Events
© By JKW
If you were born anytime between the 12th and 16th centuries somewhere within the regions we call Europe or the Middle East chances are life wasn’t a whole lot of fun. Yet many of us alive today spend time and money recreating that era for our amusement. Flashing rapiers, jousting Knights, jesting jugglers, magicians, belly dancers, strolling bards and musicians are all part of the experience of a Renaissance Faire. We gladly part with our hard earned cash to put a wreath of flowers and ribbons in our hair or chomp on a Turkey drumstick washed down with some hearty ale or mead. Oh the pleasures of watching birds of prey demonstrations or living chess boards or getting a photo of your husband in the town stocks or better yet your kids. Archers with long bows and crossbows in addition to Knights on horseback show off what was the latest in combat back in the day. Of course men in tights and women in bustiers are a large part of the appeal but let’s face it, if that were all there was to it then why wouldn’t a ballet draw 320,000 people in a season?
Some among us are not content with these seasonal weekend forays into the somewhat commercial realm of Faires and seek out kindred spirits in the SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronisms where members can build their own medieval identity. The SCA promotes the recreation of the arts and skills of this earlier time and so you can find yourself at a tourney with siege weapons like catapults and trebuchets hurling large rocks or a full blown pitched battle where the arts of combat and chivalry are put to the test on a grand scale. While there is a sizable interest in martial arts there is an equal emphasis on dancing, music and feasting. I for one love music, dancing and feasting but unfortunately camping is not something I will do so the most glorious of all events the 2 week long Pennsic War is off limits for me.
In the SCA you create a new name as well as “profession” and place within the “Known World”. You can learn how to brew your own beers, meads and wines. There are so many activities to learn and share including archery, calligraphy, cooking, costuming, combat, dance, equestrian activities, metalwork, woodworking, music and even weaving and sewing. If you aren’t up to the research and recreation I suppose you could just get a great costumer to whip you up some garb and spend more of your efforts in the social side of things. The bottom line here is that people love to play and there is something to enjoying the fun parts of an age gone by while still having access to things like indoor plumbing and toilet paper. So celebrate and whether you chose to go to an encampment or a tournament or just spend the day at a local Renaissance Faire of Medieval Festival have fun and think of the folks 500 years from today that will be trying to recreate our way of living.
© By JKW
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