Feast of Fools 2016

Feast of Fools is a popular festival celebrated on medieval New Year’s Day i.e on January 1st in several countries of Europe, especially in France. While this festivity is almost called off today in many countries, in United States it is still practiced as Mummer’s parade in Philadelphia and in New York’s Times Square. Feast of fools is also called with many other unusual names such as festum fatuorum, festum stultorum, festum hypodiaconorum, or fete des fous.

Feast of Fools 2016 Origin and Condemnation:

  • The festivity of feast of fools could be traced back to medieval times from fifth to sixteenth century where clergy and laity celebrated in the honor of harvest god Saturn. Thus we can say that the festivity of Roman Saturnalia paved the way for wanton celebrations of Feast of Fools.
  • Although the main idea behind this festival is to instigate a brief social change among people, but many higher officials of the church thought that these acts were purely mocking and contemptuous. In spite of various attempts made by the Catholic Church to ban this festival, its reputation and emotional outlet made people practice it till 16th century, even under the risk of penalties imposed by the Council of Basle.

Major Attractions of Feast of Fools Festival

  • Young people were main participants of these celebrations in which a mock pope, bishop or archbishop was elected by their member groups. Later religious rituals were performed in church by changing their social status and relegating the highest local church officials to the status of servants on that particular day of Feast of Fools.
  • Several ridiculous ceremonies and revelry were carried out dressed in different kinds of masks and disguises, drinking to excess, singing and dancing and sometimes even gambling on the church altar. This wild festival was totally against the practices of Christian morals and absurd traditions were practiced abolishing all social distinctions.

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