A Christian Goes to the Renaissance FaireI always thought a Renaissance Faire was just like any other festival except the entertainers wear funny clothes. And get in fights. While riding big horses. And brandishing swords. (Ouch.) (Jousting, I found out later.)
But now that I've actually been to a RenFaire, I know more than I thought I ever wanted to about Renaissance Fairing. I know, for instance, that a Renaissance lady from post medieval England is proud to show her cleavage, but would never let anyone glimpse her ankles, let alone her big white bloomers.
I know you can do a search online and find a plethora of dramatic, colorful Renaissance Faire photos from all over the world that prove just how popular and exciting these events are. So exciting that there are even people (Rennies) who plan all their vacations and major life events to coincide with Renaissance Faires. Renaissance weddings, Renaissance family reunions, etc. They even have Ren identities, names, wardrobes, and backstories. Must be confusing when they reenter the workaday world. "Hi, I'm the Duchess of HooHoo, oops I mean..."
I now know that there are artisans and craftspersons, performers and jousters who travel the Renaissance Faire circuit, offering period jewelry, clothing, food and entertainment to delighted crowds. They talk funny, too, with a "prithee" here, and a "huzzah" there. (Remember, "privee" means something else, but there are plenty of those, too.)
What else do I know? Falcons fly (so don't bring Fluffy the puppy. Falcons are hungry.) Minstrels minst. Shakespearean actors Olde English you all over the place. Jousters joust, and the Lord Sheriff of Naughtyham (or is it naughtyhands?) throws you in the stocks if you don't watch out.
What I didn't know was the extremely New Age and Occult spirit of the Faire. Self proclaimed witches, fortune tellers, tarot card readers and wizards abound. Traditionally, Christians and Christian churches stay away from such places. But, why should the New Agers have all the fun?
Remarkably enough, I came upon a Christian booth named "Perchance to Dream" offering free dream interpretations and spiritual blessings. No evangelizing, no preaching. Not even praying, unless you ask. Mostly amazing, encouraging messages from your Creator to you, as detected and interpreted from your dreams, or as a spiritual insight from one of the costumed interpreters.
Maybe not surprisingly, the Perchance to Dream tent was packed. Families, adults and children waited in line to hear a word, a direction, a thought they might carry with them right out of the Faire and into life. Many Rennies, dressed up like Elizabethan royalty, bellydancers, serving wenches, serfs, and stableboys found themselves blessed by this unlikely dream team, as well as the majority of Fairegoers who don't come in costume.
Did I personally, veteran ad lady that I am, wear an actual Rennie costume? Well, if you see a rather mature lady pirate in the crowd at the next Renaissance Faire you go to, that could be me. I'll be munching on a dragon leg, which will taste suspiciously like turkey.