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Middle Ages

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History >> Middle Ages for Kids

When we think of Medieval times and the Dark Ages we sometimes picture overcast days, damp castles, slaving peasants, and dungeons. However, the people in the Middle Ages loved parties, events, feasts, games, and sports. Just like us, they liked to have a good time.

Fairs, Festivals, and Feasts

People in the Middle Ages didn't have vacation or days off, but they did have lots of festivals which they celebrated by taking the day off. They would have fairs, carnivals, and feasts to celebrate these days. Most of these days were special days on the Christian calendar such as Easter, Christmas, and various Saint's days.

Painting of Troubadours
Troubadours by Unknown

On these days the local villagers would gather together and throw a big party. There would be lots of eating, drinking, music, games, and dancing. Many of the traditions they celebrated would come from their local cultures and were different throughout Europe.


The favorite sporting event for the nobility was hunting. Several nobles may gather together for a hunt on the local baron's land. They would ride horses while their trained dogs would hunt down the prey. Even noblewomen liked to hunt. They would use trained birds of prey, like hawks, when hunting.


There was a wide variety of music during the Middle Ages. Many towns had a band that played on feast days. They used a number of different instruments including pipes, drums, fiddles, harps, bagpipes, and even something called a hurdy-gurdy.


One of the most popular forms of entertainment was the troubadour. Troubadours were men who traveled from town to town singing and playing music that told romantic stories about knights and heroes. Many troubadours became quite famous and performed before kings and queens.


People of the Middle Ages enjoyed a variety of games. One popular game among the nobility was chess. Chess came to Europe from Persia in the 9th century. Other games included gambling with dice, blind man's bluff, checkers, horse races, and playing cards.


There were many athletic events at festivals and other occasions. These included archery, jousting, hammer-throwing, and wrestling. In some areas they played early versions of football (soccer), cricket, bowling, or golf.

Interesting Facts about Entertainment during the Middle Ages

More subjects on the Middle Ages:

Feudal System
Medieval Monasteries
Glossary and Terms

Knights and Castles
Becoming a Knight
History of Knights
Knight's Armor and Weapons
Knight's coat of arms
Tournaments, Jousts, and Chivalry

Daily Life in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages Art and Literature
The Catholic Church and Cathedrals
Entertainment and Music
The King's Court

Major Events
The Black Death
The Crusades
Hundred Years War
Magna Carta
Norman Conquest of 1066
Reconquista of Spain
Wars of the Roses

Byzantine Empire
The Franks
Kievan Rus
Vikings for kids

Alfred the Great
Genghis Khan
Joan of Arc
Justinian I
Marco Polo
Saint Francis of Assisi
William the Conqueror
Famous Queens

Works Cited

History >> Middle Ages for Kids

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