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Feast of Fools
Report to Moderator Old 06-08-2002 09:33 PM
MMC Editor
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By Brenna Hall

The Feast of Fools was a big celebration that started in the middle ages.

It was a day when the classes switched places, put aside all of their Christian values and played tricks. Some of the behavior people participated in was cross-dressing, gambling on the church altars, singing rude songs and drunkenness. Higher up classes such as knights, lords, ladies, etc. did the tasks of villagers and the villagers were able to order them around.

They would also choose a young boy to be the pope or bishop for the day. The Feast of Fools was a day when there were no rules. Everyone did what they wanted. The "Fools" were given names such as "lord or lady of foolishness", "unreason", "chaos" or "the king or queen of fools". This was not a title to be proud of. But for that day everyone had to obey orders given to them by these "chosen" people.

Most of Europe participated in The Feast Of Fools. It was celebrated in France, England, Scotland and other countries as well. People in Paris were particularly known for their outrageous behavior. When the Feast of Fools was celebrated in France it was often held at Notre Dame and Disney's Hunch Back of Notre Dame is an example of the Feast of Fools.

The Catholic Church tried many times to get rid of the Feast of Fools but failed because the people liked it. In the fifteenth century the embarrassed Catholic Church was finally able to put a stop to the partying in Notre Dame. But it wasn't until the sixteenth century that they were able to completely banish this day of foolery.

The Feast of Fools was celebrated every year on New Year's Day. But at that time, New Year's Day was on what is April 1st today. When the calendar was changed to what we have today, some people still celebrated the Feast of Fools in April and that is where April Fools Day comes from.
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