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Entertainment in Medieval Times

The Diverse and Creative Forms of Entertainment in Medieval Times

Have you ever wondered about the life and entertainment of the people in the Middle Ages? Here's a look at the various forms of entertainment in Medieval times.
Kashmira Lad
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2017
Life led by the Medieval people in the Middle Ages was dictated by many issues. This era was even considered to be a bleak period in history, especially for the peasant folk. This was a period that witnessed the rule of some brave Medieval kings and their beautiful castles dominated the landscape. Many of these continue to draw visitors from all across the globe. Despite it being a tough period for the common folk, there were various forms of entertainment in the Medieval times. People from the Medieval period, whether rich or poor, knew the importance of amusement and taking a break from the monotony when needed. The forms of entertainment in this period were varied. The rich, especially the Kings and Queens often held programs in the main courtyards. Here, people from all over gathered and enjoyed together the various art forms being presented before them.
Entertainment in these times was witnessed through various forms such as plays, music and dance, games, sports, etc. Special entertainers were the central attractions for shows or plays. The courts of the Kings in the Middle Ages provided a platform for people with artistic talents. Musicians, poets, singers and storytellers enthralled audiences with their performances. Dancing was another form of entertainment at this time. The wealthy Kings hired jesters and jugglers for their entertainment. Such shows often had traveling minstrels who visited towns in search for work. Performing arts was given the much-needed importance during the Middle Ages. Such traveling artistes performed on topical subjects as well. Along with poetic tales, musicians often composed love songs to entertain the masses. The themes were also based on historical events. These light-hearted programs enthralled audiences of all class and age groups. People in the Middle Ages also loved to watch plays. These dramas were based on religious themes.
Apart from musical programs, games were also a popular source of amusement in the Middle Ages. This was prevalent amongst people who belonged to the lower as well as upper class. These games also included outdoor and indoor games. Amongst indoor games, chess, knucklebones, Alquerques, etc. were frequently played between groups of people. People in the Medieval period also loved outdoor games such as archery, horseshoes, skittles, wrestling, etc. Another interesting activity was the competition held for these games. Men also loved rugged forms of entertainment such as horseback riding and sword play. Tournaments that revolved around such sport activities drew plenty of spectators. From the rich to the peasant folk, everyone had their share of fun, cheering for their favorites.
The Church was another area where certain forms of entertainment could be seen for the common folks. Songs were incorporated into sessions by the priests and hymns were enjoyed by one and all. Feasts were also held in churches where people served and enjoyed food. This was often noticed for religious festivals and special occasions.
Thus we see, how the various forms of entertainment in Medieval times helped people bond despite it being called the Dark Ages. Although there was a vast different between the lives of nobles and common folk, certain factors in life were constant for both!
sword play
skittles game
Chess board
Jester on street