September 06, 2008
The Medieval Festival.
Exactly a week ago I attended a local medieval festival. It is the largest festival of its kind in Scandinavia and it took place in Horsens, a small town not far from where I live. The festival is held every year in the end of August. I am very intrigued by this time period and finally this year I had a chance to attend this event in a company of a man that flew all the way from Ireland just to take me there. Although I knew the festival has been held for over 10 years, I did not expect much. However, it turned out to be one of the best days of my life. This was a very well organized event with a magnitude of artists and performers from all over Europe. A true feast for all senses. Luckily, this year the 30th of August fell on one of the most beautiful "indian summer" days I can remember and the whole center of this small town was transformed into a medieval marked. It was a complete historical illusion in a setting with over 5000 attendants disguised as street musicians, knights, noblemen, craftsmen and traders, selling merchandise in hundreds of stands. There were horses and even the impressive wolfhounds. The air was filled with smoke from burning fires, insense and medieval music and song. One truly got a feeling of being back in time. We spend almost 4 hours walking up and down the streets, admiring all the goods for sale. It was difficult to choose from all the pottery, medieval clothing and jewelry. We finally settled on buying two clay mugs, perfect for drinking mead or beer from on a hot summer day. And finally a gift for me: a small pilgrimage token, made in an image of a true artifact discovered in 2004 on an archeological excavation in "Silkeborg", a small town nearby. Crafted in a form of a crucifix, it depicts a crowned Jesus and was found near an old moat, which once surrounded a small fort, dating back to 1385.