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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 09/11/17

Monday, September 11, 2017

HORN DANCE FESTIVAL FROM ENGLAND!!






   The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is an English folk dance involving reindeer antlers and a hobby horse that takes place each year in Abbots Bromley, a small village in Staffordshire, England.

Origins

   There are no recorded references to the horn dance prior to Robert Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire, written in 1686. However, there is a record of the hobby horse being used in Abbots Bromley as early as 1532, and it is possible that the horn dance component of the custom was also present at that time but not commented upon by the writer.  A carbon analysis discovered that the antlers used in the dance date to the 11th century - though these may well have replaced an even older set. According to some, the use of antlers suggests an Anglo-Saxon origin along with other native Anglo-Saxon traditions that have survived into modern times in various forms.  It has been speculated, for example, that the dance originated in the pagan period and was











connected with the ruling dynasty of Mercia, based some 15 miles away at Tamworth, who owned extensive hunting lands in Needwood Forest and Cannock Chase surrounding Abbots Bromley. On this theory, the royal forester would have organised sympathetic magic rituals to ensure a plentiful catch each year, a tradition that survived into Christian times and gradually came to be seen as affirming the villagers' hunting rights. Even when the lands were granted to Burton Abbey in 1004 a forester would still needed to have been employed, and by the 16th century, when the abbey was dissolved, this hereditary position bore the title "Forester of Bentylee" (Bentylee being the wooded area of the parish). From then until the 19th century the dance remained the traditional prerogative of the Bentley family, eventually passing to the Fowell family in 1914 through a marriage alliance. The Fowells continue to run it to this day.
   Such an ancient origin for the dance has been doubted by some folklorists, who point out that while the reindeer antlers date to the 11th century, reindeer were long since extinct in the England and wales (and probably Scotland), and there is no evidence that any domestic reindeer herds remained at that time. Therefore, even more confusingly, the antlers must have been imported from Scandinavia at some point between the 11th and 17th centuries. This fact may lend weight to the theory that the custom originally began with only a hobby horse, and the horn dance component was added later, explaining why only the former was mentioned by 16th century sources.










   The dance was, like similar events throughout the country, temporarily discontinued during the Commonwealth years. Prior to this, according to Robert Plot, it was performed on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Twelfth Day, in addition to the local Wakes Monday - though upon its revival in 1660 it was confined to the latter alone.

Event

   The Horn Dance attracts a large number of visitors to the village. As well as the dance itself, Wakes Monday sees a Fair on the village green; Morris dancing; and numerous other attractions. The right to hold this Fair was granted to the village in 1221.









Date and schedule of performance

   The Horn Dance takes place on Wakes Monday, the day following Wakes Sunday, which is the first Sunday after 4 September. In practice, this means that it is the Monday dated between September 6th and September 12th.
The dance starts at 08:00 with a service of blessing in St Nicholas Church, where the horns are housed. The dance begins on the village green, then passes out of the village - but not out of the Parish - to Blithfield Hall, owned by Lady Bagot.
The dancers return to the village in the early afternoon, and make their way around the pubs and houses. Finally, at about 20:00, the horns are returned to the church, and the day is completed with the service of Compline.
   The dance starts at 08:00 with a service of blessing in St Nicholas Church, where the horns are housed. The dance begins on the village green, then passes out of the village - but not out of the Parish - to Blithfield Hall, owned by Lady Bagot.
The dancers return to the village in the early afternoon, and make their way around the pubs and houses. Finally, at about 20:00, the horns are returned to the church, and the day is completed with the service of Compline.










Dancers

   There are 12 dancers. Six carry the horns and are accompanied by musician playing an accordion (a violin in former times), Maid Marian (a man in a dress), the Hobby-horse, the Fool (or Jester), a youngster with a bow and arrow, and another youngster with a triangle. Traditionally, the dancers are all male, although in recent years girls have been seen carrying the triangle and bow and arrow.
   Until the end of the 19th Century the dancers were all members of the Bentley family. The dance passed to the related Fowell family in the early 20th Century in which it remains to this day, though rising house prices has meant that none of them live in the village any longer, with many residing in nearby towns. They have been known to allow visitors to "dance in" if asked politely, and will often invite musicians and others to take part when necessary.







Antlers


   The "horns" are six sets of reindeer antlers, three white and three black. In 1976, a small splinter was radiocarbon dated to around 1065. Since there are not believed to have been any reindeer in England in the 11th Century, the horns must have been imported from Scandinavia.
   The antlers are mounted on small heads carved from wood. Since 1981, the horns are legally the property of Abbots Bromley Parish Council. For 364 days a year, they are on display in St Nicholas Church. They were once kept in the main Village Hall, which is now the Goat Inn, beside the Butter Cross. An alternative set of antlers (red deer) are kept to use when the Dancers are asked, as they are, frequently, to perform outside the Parish boundaries.









Dance
 
   The dance itself is simple, since the antlers themselves have some weight to them and are large and bulky.
   As described by Cecil Sharp, there are 6 figures in the dance. He describes the dance as being done with the participants in a single line; however, it is currently performed with the dancers in a double column.


GIOSTRA DEL SARACINO FROM ITALY!






  Tuscany draws you with an irresistible air to Arezzo transforming a land into a theater filled with a lifestyle of tradition, culture and cuisine. Arezzo which is about 80 kilometers from Florence hosts the Giostra del Saracino or the joust held at the Piazza Grande. This medieval festival displays facets of its old world charm, its famous history, tradition and its tasteful cuisine.









   Held on the first Sunday in September, the procession of La Giostra del Saracino winds its way right down to the Piazza Grande. Originating from the ancient Crusades, this Saracen joust began in the Middle Ages. The Christian Crusaders battled with the Islamic tribes or the Moors of the North African Arabs in an attempt to drive them out of Europe. This Baroque joust started between the 15th and the 16th centuries and gained popularity. But during the 18th century, the royal air that surrounded it declined and lost its notoriety. A brief spell of fame enveloped this game during the Romantic period. With a culture of tradition, the Giostra del Saracino was re-established as a historic event in 1931 with its original 14th century ambience. With the spirit of competition and joy, the joust also takes place when dignitaries and princes visit the city and during important functions, carnivals and weddings.










   Held twice a year, La Giostra del Saracino is also enacted on the third Saturday at San Donato as well as the first Sunday in September at Arezzo. Exciting and exhilarating, this medieval joust starts with an air of anticipation as the procession with eight knights clad in their chain armors canter past on their horses. The knights represent the four quarters of the old city. They are known as the Porta Crucifera in red and green, the











Porta del Foro in yellow and crimson, the Porta Sant’Andrea in green and white and the Porta Santo Spirito in yellow and blue. The parade follows with 311 people dressed in the 14th century apparel and 31 horses trotting along with their riders with multi-colored flags held by the flag bearers. The joust begins with a traditional ritual with the Bishop blessing the armies on the steps of the Cathedral. Then the ‘Araldo’ reads the ‘Disifida di Buratto’, which is a poetic recital, dating back to the 17th century. A greeting is extended to the knights and the authorities who are in charge. A musical chorus ‘Inno del Saracino’ is sung by the Gruppo Musici and a final ‘go ahead’ signal is given by the Magistrates to start La Giostra del Saracino.











   The aim of the joust is to hit the shield held by a wooden effigy of a Saracen. The Maestro del Campo or the Master of the Field gives the signal for the knights to race on their mounts towards the wooden effigy. If the knights miss the target, the Saracen effigy portraying the ‘Puppet King of the Indies’ swings a ball with spikes on it that hits the knight if he is not careful. The crowds cheer as the knight from their quarters finds










his mark, but lapse into silence when he does not and turn to distracting the knights from the other quarters when it is their turn. The knights of the joust who hit the shield of the effigy win the most number of points and go on to winning the prize of the Golden Lance. Arezzo takes you back into the past with its memorable traditions and a culture that traverses the ancient ages

THE BIRD KING RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL FROM FRANCE!




  Since 1986, every third weekend of September, the city of Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire) found its Renaissance colors. Through a festival of a high culture, the city takes the guise of an old and true archery contest to get it  back into the glorious past.
    For four days in September, priority is given to street performances and the reconstruction of what  daily life in the sixteenth century in the Velay would have been like.  Tented camps, struggles with the sound of cannon fire, folk artisans, daily cooking and meal time, and  pilgrims on their way to Saint Jacques de Compostela  to set up their tents and compounds for so they can rough it just like their ancestors.
   Each year, several days after the school year has been out, the entire city and its people gather to live and work in the Bird King Renaissance Festival  offering  all who  who attend the festival, to join them for the four days of the  festival.  Many attendees come  in period costumes and they continue their adventure, learning and participating , but this time as actors. Thus everyone and anyone who attends, to the extent of their expertise, can live and work for a few days of friendship and folly in a time of history gone by.

An atmosphere that "breathes" the sixteenth century

  Whether it's costumes, daily life, crafts, cooking, military camps, music and/or dance ... the sites and sounds of the King of the bird must "breathe, sound and look" just like the real sixteenth century.










   Each year, the Renaissance du Puy-en-Velay is a real history lesson  for many schools and their students.  Students are thus likely to move between different sites and locals, exploring the different parts and surroundings of the festival.  They take advantage of all of  the activities that are scheduled for each and every day, many of which are much more educational than it may really seem.
   Journey through a calligraphy workshop, through the learning of flavors, plants, weapons, metalwork from the many participants living and working at the festival  and ending with the old games, diving headlong into the Renaissance is a  full on life expericence you will never want to forget about.

Highlights


    In addition to the programs and festivities offered for the festivals large crowds.  Many street performers and musicians will be strolling in and around the grounds, also at the many different venues that surround the festival.   The King of the Bird is also an opportunity to share many  moments of spectacles and emotions.

Concert In The Land of 1001 Nights











   Ambassador Suleiman the Magnificent wanted to offer our first Sir Francis a gift that would be worthy of a king of his  high quality.
  Also, it is an evening full of perfumes and spices from the East, that will be seen and smelled during the ceremony:  silk, coffee tables, mint tea, colored projections, as you will be the guests of His Highness the Caravensérail and have the chance of leaving you enchanted by the music of DAYAZELL at the nights  concert!

  Renaissance dances











   At the opening of each of the dances,  the group of dancers,  well known throughout  the city, and Pavanes Caprioli, offer evocative dances full of  imagination and of the ball that would have happened at the time of the Renaissance period.
   Then driven in turn by the groups:  Picabofà, Zucati, and Tempradura Waraok, great balls of Velay and the Verbena Harvest,  will provide an opportunity for everyone to discover his and her  talents as dancers through the advice of Mr Sauret, the master of the ceremonies.
    Finally, to complete  the setting of the ball, the walls will be dressed with  colorful images and  the  combination of poetry and surprise ...

 The March of Time in the Footsteps of François I

   More than ever,  the  approach is  to take on the looks of different parts of  Europe and its many cultures, the King of the Bird, in collaboration with the twinning committees department and the departmental committee of hiking.  There has been a new,  organized march to the festival with  costumes and equipment from the Renaissance  time period.  The European guests of twinning committees and all those who might want to try their luck in the conditions of the 16th century, are invited to be at the church square of Polignac on  Saturday, September 17 at 2 p.m., to trace the route used by their ancestors  in 1533 and  by Her Majesty François.   First by stopping at Le Puy Sainte Marie.  At about 2:30, historic marchers parade through the city, partying and marching to the   celebratory music and  will meet up with the Consuls and other municipal officials of the city.

Children's Day










    The  promise for a better future for children born during the year, and for those aged.  The  seven harvests will be welcomed by all the people,  cheering,  in which water, light and nature become the guarantors of a bright future of every child, for they are the  hero's of the day!

  The Parade of Adventurers





 
 
 

    Vellaves groups gather and get ready to embark on the third expedition of Jacques Cartier in Quebec ( the military, farmers, loggers, bad girls chained ...) walk and march  in a procession from the  home of Mgr Galard, to Martouret to bid farewell to His Majesty,  François I.

 Ceremony to the King






 
 
 
 
   Courage is one of the virtues of the people of  Vellaves, they are likely to want to sail with Jacques Cartier on his last expedition to his landing at  Quebec ... However, before leaving the good town of Le Puy Sainte Marie and not knowing when they will see it again, they want to say goodbye to their sovereign people  during a special ceremony,  combining the art of music and dance, in a tribute to the military.

 The Coronation of The King of the Bird 2011






 
 
 
 

    The finals of the archery competition and the unique spectacle of the Coronation of King's,  winner of the Bird 2011, will be held on  Saturday, September 17th,  in the large gardens of Henri Vinay Lice! Also of  note, is that  the coronation will result in many  spectacular sights and sounds,  including the Sonneurs Velay and the Alchymère acrobatic Company.  An event not to be missed!


Presentation of "Embassies of Distant Lands"


    Her Majesty will give the  French representatives the first hearing to listen to them   talk of distant lands and conquests, that they have recently discovered or have long been linked by trade and political  relations. Thus, she will  surely  welcome, as it should be,  the Embassy of Suleiman the Magnificent and the caravans of Samarkand,  returning from their long  journeys on the  Silk Road,  but also the brave passengers of the Isles and other settlements of the city, who presented the many  exotic objects brought back from their expeditions to Aztec, China or in the frozen steps of other northern countries.

The Historic Parade









   The traditional historic parade is on Sunday.  Participants gather at the same time every year.  Thousands of participants will start to convene at approximately 4 p.m at the cathedral, the parade  will finnish up  late afternoon at the top of the Boulevard du Breuil.





Shooting the Bird








    Archery competitions and archery law are the main theme of the celebrations of the King Bird.  Pull the bird was once a widespread custom throughout France.  It was established by Charles V,  after the close of many of the gambling halls and  houses.  Pull the bird was similar  to kill the parrot or Papagaï (the name given to the parrot in Occitan), some of the other well known archery event that had taken place in Europe.
    Le Puy-en-Velay, dates back to 1524.  That year, archers and musketeers  had organized into a brotherhood by the consuls and  were allowed to compete in  the bird to create a healthy rivalry among the younger members of their brotherhood, and thus, in turn to get the younger members to not  "follow your lust of gambling and taverns or deal with a thousand other passions and dissolutions, how youth is subject ".  The shooting of the bird was held annually after that.










    The winner was proclaimed king for a year, during which he was entitled to wear the sword, to attend the processions to the rank of consuls and order " a company fusilhers arquebuziers with sergeans and drums".  He was also entrusted with the keys of the city and  was exempt from taxes.  After a few interruptions in history,  shooting the bird was done regularly until the Revolution.  After this, an attempt to restore the custom of shooting the bird was held onSeptember 3, 1814.   It was not until the inter-war period, from about 1920 to 1940, the tradition gained favor  at Breuil Mercoeur, by historian Albert Vellaves Boudon-Lashermes.
     Finally, it is with the creation of the  Renaissance Festival and of the King of the Bird in 1986, that  the city of Puy,   reestablished the famous festival once again and became a popular tradition to this day.

 The Assistance of the King of the Bird

  Playoffs: Equipment, bows and arrows, is provided by the Organizing Committee of the King of the Bird.  The playoffs will take place at du Breuil, Saturday, Sept. 17, after registration.


    Final coronation of the new King and Prince of the Bird 2011: Finalists will compete in the gardens of  Henri Vinay, Saturday, September 17th. After this competition,  the winner will be announced and crowned "King", by  the archer that  reaches the heart of the bird target or the one that ends up the closest.




The Tented Camps








 One of the greatest features of the King of the Bird is the impressive number of camps that take hold and populate  the grounds around  the city and allow the towns people to live and play in all pomp and circumstance of a Renaissance fare, recreating the festival of a time gone by.