How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

The life of the average medieval European was short, dangerous and not rich. However, in those days people also had their own small joys, few in number, but in their own sweet and pleasant hearts. What could you do if you managed to be born 500-600 years before the iPhone and IMAX cinemas?

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

Most of the entertainments in the Middle Ages were very simple, but, nevertheless, they are practically inaccessible to a modern person. Therefore, read and envy, time-burners in boutiques and football TV fans.

In Europe, they loved and knew how to dance. They danced a lot and everywhere: on the streets, squares, markets, in taverns. But there were also special dance houses, which were a kind of club for people of different ages. They were both in cities and in villages and opened mainly in the evening. Young people here had the opportunity to show themselves and look at others, get to know each other and generally have a good evening.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

Most of all, guys and girls loved dancing when a partner throws a lady higher and then catches her. Often the young ladies, to the delight of those present, landed with their skirts pulled up or fell exposing their legs above what was allowed. At this moment, someone pretended to stumble and fell on the beauty, to the approving chuckles of friends. In general, there was a lot of beer, live music and pleasant communication.

Although prostitution was not encouraged by either the church or the secular authorities, brothels were an integral part of medieval cities. These establishments were divided according to the level of service and could be oriented both to the poor public and to wealthy people.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

For many, the maintenance of a brothel was a great way to put together start-up capital to open a trade, workshop or workshop. Brothels were often combined with inns, so they provided a wide range of services. Here you could have a snack, a drink, find a beauty for a while or problems on your head. This business, as it is today, was quite criminal in those days.

When the city authorities were inspired and they remembered that the city was full of brothels and street prostitutes, the city guards organized raids on the hot spots, arresting corrupt women and owners of brothels.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

The punishment was public flogging, which in Europe was one of the most attractive spectacles for onlookers. In most cases, the punished were stripped naked and therefore the execution always gathered a lot of men.

Going to stare at someone else's death in the Middle Ages was just as normal as attending a pop band concert now. Whole families came to the executions, not forgetting the children at home, and took with them some simple food as popcorn.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

The condemned rarely managed to quickly say goodbye to life, since the demonstrative part of the punishment played an important role. The suicide bomber was pathetically driven to the place of execution on a cart, accompanied by heralds loudly shouting out a list of his crimes or dragged through the crowd, awarding punches and jabs. Everything depended on the status of the victim and the mercy of his executioners.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

After the execution was completed, the event was savored and discussed, and the next day one could see a theatrical performance dedicated to the execution or buy a leaflet with a "poem" from merchants, that is, the last words of the condemned.

When there were no executions, fairs were the main form of entertainment. We visited them not only for shopping, but also to have a cultural time. Here you could look at curiosities from distant countries, laugh at freaks, appreciate the skills of jugglers, dancers and acrobats.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

The latter especially attracted women, because by virtue of their profession they were in excellent physical shape. The life of a fairground acrobat was not easy — they were forced to spend all their time at rehearsals and performances. They were paid pennies, of which the organizers of the fair took their considerable percentage, and they had to work among drunk and familiarly minded spectators. The only plus was the popularity of the fair sex, for which the acrobats were disliked by jealous husbands and clergymen.

Carnivals in major cities of medieval Europe took place before Christmas and before Easter. People came and came to this fun event from afar, often tens of kilometers away. For many, it was the only outlet in life, because on carnival days you could safely criticize kings and bishops, dance until you drop and bully passers-by, covering your face with a mask.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

The church did not approve of carnivals, considering them a satanic undertaking, but at the same time tolerated them, since they were a kind of valve that reduced tension in society. In addition, the clergy themselves were not averse to having fun, hiding away the cassock and putting on a disguise.

In honor of big holidays, townspeople and villagers often arranged funny performances, depicting duels of knights or famous battles. Baskets were used as armor, and any objects similar to swords and spears could become weapons.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

Often battles were fought on horseback and "knights" armed with ladles and shafts faced a terrible force on the battlefield. Such fun games rarely went without bruises and bumps, and sometimes the fighters received fatal injuries. But this did not stop anyone, since neither life nor health were of particular value then — a person could die at any time and from anything.

During carnivals and folk festivals, residents of medieval towns and villages loved to launch foxes into the air. To do this, a huge sling was arranged, with which a team of strong men managed. A fox was launched into a sling, and then they tried to throw it into the air as high as possible.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

In the event that there was no fox in the presence, they could do with a badger or, at worst, a hare. It happened that they threw from a sling and a whole boar. The main thing in this case was the spirit of competition — teams of slingers replaced each other until all the poor animals were tortured to death.

As in our days, in the Middle Ages the baths were different. The cheapest, common ones were in the greatest demand. In such a bathhouse, the male and female zones were separated by a conditional fence and the washing could freely contemplate each other in all its glory.

How to entertain yourself if you find yourself in the Middle Ages: 9 ways of cultural recreation

In order to observe formal decency, visitors had to wear special aprons. But this modest detail of the bath wardrobe did not prevent the curious from considering what they needed.

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