Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Medieval Costumes and Festival

I know that I have been missing from blogland for a few weeks, but with our mid year school holidays on, we have been keeping busy with lots of fun family activities and days catching up with friends.

One event which was a highlight for our children, was spending last weekend at the Abbey Medieval Festival.  We have some good family friends who go along to this festival every year and have told us so much about it and encouraged us to go with them.  So this year we decided we would go - it turns out that at least half of our city must have decided to go too - I had no idea it was such a huge event and so very popular!

The costumes were so amazing - and that is even an under-statement!  People really go all out for this festival with their costumes.  I was so impressed and regret not taking lots more photos.  It is worth going along just to see all the costumes.    

Our friends dress up, so we knew about the costumes ahead of time - but being our first time attending the festival, we had only planned to go as observers.  Famous last words!!

My son decided at the last minute that he wanted to dress up and we literally raced to the nearest store which sold fabric and with only 10 minutes to spare until closing time, made all our purchases in record time so that I could go home and spend Friday evening sewing something for him to wear.  It was only a very simple design and he was really pleased with it.  It was definitely worth the extra pressure I put myself under to see how happy it made him.

I had made up a medieval style dress for a school costume a few years ago for my oldest daughter, so it came in very handy for her younger sister to wear for the festival.

It was a fun and also very educational festival.  We enjoyed watching the various re-enactments, like the popular jousting tournaments.  If you look hard at the man on the field in the maroon top with the blonde hair, he was the visiting celebrity at the Medieval Festival for the day, Dr Chris Brown from the popular Channel 10 programme, Bondi Vet.

We learned many interesting facts from medieval times as we visited the various re-enactors and their encampments.  From making bread and cheeses, to learning about make-up.  The girls all loved the henna designs (like the lady is showing them) and they all ended up with their own hand designs courtesy of their oldest sister's artistic flair.

You can see I visited the more female orientated sessions - but of course I had my girls with me.  The boys all went off and did the things that interested them.   I think that was part of the fun part of going along with friends, we could split up and share the responsibility of the children and enjoy the day doing things that interested us all.  There was certainly a huge variety to choose from and even with two whole days there, we still missed out on some things.

The children all enjoyed the archery and we did come home with some safe replica sets of bows and arrows.

A highlight for my girls was definitely the gypsy encampment.  They loved the gypsy costumes and had fun making wooden dolls with the gypsies.

The other thing they really enjoyed was the gypsy dance workshop.  It was so unfortunate that this had to be cut short because it started to rain.  In the gypsy encampment there was always quite a lot of dancing and my youngest daughter, who loves to dance, was captivated by their movements and could mimick them quite well.  I can feel a gypsy costume coming on for the next medieval festival!!

It ended up being a fun weekend, and this statement comes to you from someone who really hasn't ever had much of a love or appreciation for medieval things - but in all honesty, we enjoyed it so much that I can see us all doing it again.  I will need to plan ahead - I have 12 months to work on costumes for eveyone!!

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