Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Renaissance Festival

On Saturday, I traveled with some friends to the Renaissance Festival that is held in Maryland every year. It was a perfect day with sunshine but not too hot, and many had taken advantage of the ideal conditions to dress accordingly in period costumes. some were dressed in the garb appropriate to the reign of Henry VIII which was the festival's theme, and there were others fitted out as pirates, scottish highlanders, modern gothic or fantasy characters.

There were many craft stalls and I loved this glassblower's arena. The sunlight glinted and sparkled off his globes and glasses, with every hue in the spectrum appearing in the creations surrounding him.

Comedy and satire played out on the many stages of the festival and these two nuns sang a raucous song about five constipated men in the Bible, including Noah who filled an ark!

I had absolutely no idea what these four ladies were supposed to be, but whatever it was captured everyone's attention. They glided across the ground stopping momentarily to strike a pose for photos. They never uttered a word but were beautiful in their form and each possessed her own character.

I caught these two enjoying a private laugh as I coursed my way through the crowds.
The jousting contest was the highlight for me as I'm very much into knights and armour. There were five knights who jousted, clashed swords and wrestled for I have no idea what, but they were very convincing on their percheron horses.
Many lances were satisfyingly broken in combat and voices were raised in anger, yet the purpose of all these tussles was none the less lost to me. I remained blissfully ignorant to the end and clapped heartily at every event. I love knights.

There were many moments of music through the day, some scheduled but many were impromptu. It was wonderful to stop and listen to off the cuff performances of violins, harps, bagpipes and drums.

While sitting to eat some icecream, we started chatting to this guy and his family who were all dressed as pirates and attending every festival day through the season. I was honored to be able to shake this man's hand as I learnt he was a soldier who had served on two tours of duty in Iraq and was shortly to return for a third.
The day was fun being surrounded by costumes and characters from all periods of history and all scopes of imagination. At the Renaissance Festival, anything goes and every outfit works.

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