Of wenches and warriors

Posted: May 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

We went to visit the Medieval Fayre in Port Elizabeth yesterday. This is an annual event organised principally by the Rotary Club and is a good excuse for some family fun while celebrating parts of medieval times.

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The event is held at the Victoria Park Grounds and consists of a variety of stalls, competitions and chances to participate in everything from archery to firing trebuchets to good ol’ dunkings (charges ranged from smelly feet to acting too much like your parents). Our two boys had a whale of a time and we spent the better part of five hours there before leaving. It wasn’t all strictly medieval as there were events like a snake exhibitions, a puppet show and constructions by scout troops but the principal theme was very much in evidence.

True to form for Port Elizabeth, most of the fun was aimed at families with children having the most chance to enjoy the activities – it would have been difficult for adults to jump onto this battering ram!

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However, it wasn’t only the kids who took advantage of the chance to dress up for the occasion: judging by the garb of many of the adults walking around, quite a few of the local eccentrics enjoyed being able to parade around in some off beat medieval kit. We even had a very realistic character from the game Assassin’s Creed walking around!

Why the fascination with things medieval, I wondered? I think the realities of those times would hardly be something to want to remember (more like Game of Thrones than Robin Hood, if you ask me), but I guess it’s the romantic version that appeals. Somehow, in a world whose complexities leave far too many lines uncomfortably blurred, the notion of a simpler time when chivalry seemed to be the order of the day appears to be a welcome return to innocence. That inclination at least, no matter if it is ill-founded, is surely one worth preserving.

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