Medieval Festival Impressions [diary]

reading time: 4 min

Last month a couple of friends of mine and I went to the the largest travelling medieval culture festival in the world. Basically, it's a fantasy festival. An event for the young and the old, and apparently also for dogs (so many dogs!). Fanciful costumes, food, medieval weaponry, jewellery, bonfires and music.

Since I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan (nerd) and love everything and anything about fantasy, I was in my element at this festival. What's so great about it is that everybody is totally into it and serious about it. And everyone was just having fun! 

The costumes range from "Lord of the Rings"-esque high fantasy to Game of Thrones to Vikings to steam punk to pirates to fairies. Of course, not everybody at the festival masquerades, but the majority of the visitors are, and honestly, this was the best festival I've been to so far (and I've been to a lot of festivals over the last 12 months, covering music genres such as reggae, pop, techno, hip hop, goa and electro).

Now, follow me through the digital doors of photography and into the world of Middle Earth and Camelot... 

These are some costume details of my friends: surcoat, sword, drinking horn, ring with the tree of life, fancy belt, and the hair style that I did for my friend R. Oh and of course my Lord of the Rings tote bag that another friend of mine made for me a while ago. Isn't it gorgeous?

I absolutely adore the effortful and time-consuming of all these costumes. Look, even Gandalf and the Witch-king of Angmar were there! Lol.

There was also a joust - which I was quite sceptical about. Of course, the whole fighting on horses action was cool to look at, and these men really know how to ride a horse and swing a sword - but at the same time I couldn't really enjoy it because I kept thinking about the horses that are trained to do acrobatic stunts and other entertaining moves. 

This isn't really any different from shows at a circus or in a zoo, or any other animal training such as the owl show that they also did at the medieval festival (see below).

Another fun thing were these costumed stilt walkers. The best part however was this lanky elderly guy in grey pants, a striped sweater, suspenders, a large top hat and a large sledgehammer in his hands. As you can hopefully tell from the picture below, he was just as tall as the stilt walkers without wearing stilts. When they saw him, they were absolutely stoked and took pictures with him :D

Now, let me show you what I wore that day. 

Since I don't have the money nor the tools to put together an elaborate outfit like those amazing costumes I showed you above, I kept it to an authentic minimum: a real nomadic dress that my grandma brought along from a vacation almost 20 years ago, paired with a broad belt from my room mate, a vintage purse, a Buddhist Endless Knot ring that looks like a rune, a long black hooded coat, and braided hair.  

I would say, I did look pretty medieval without spending a single dollar on my outfit :)

Overall this was probably my favourite festival of all. Great atmosphere, super communicative people and breath-taking costumes. I would (will!) definitely go back there next time!

For now, it has been a great source of inspiration for the fantasy murder mystery dinner that we are doing in December. My character is an elf princess called Nimuel, and I'm already planning out her costume in my head (a dress like this or this or this, silver and golden arm cuffs, a DIY headpiece, a hair-do like this or this, and some sort of elf ears...)

Stay tuned if you're interested to see what I end up wearing for the fantasy dinner :)


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