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Word Count: 2,673
What were the functions of popular festivals etc in Early Modern Europe And why did the authorities civil and ecclesiastical seek to control or suppress them In Early Modern Europe festivals were the setting for heroes and their stories to be celebrated by the populace They posed a change from their everyday life In those days people lived in remembrance of one festival and in expectance of the next Different kinds of festivals were celebrated in different ways There were festivals that marked an individual occasion and werent part of the festival calendar like family festivals such as weddings and christenings Some took place at the same time every year and were for everyone like community festivals like the different saints days Pilgrimages took place all year round Annuals festivals like Christmas and Midsummer always took place on the same day every year In those days the average village in Western Europe celebrated at least 17 festivals annually not counting family occasions and saints days Some festivals such as Carnival lasted several days or sometimes even several weeks In the Netherlands Carnival started every year at the 11th of November St Martin and culminated in a big festival of Dranck pleijsier ende vrouwen Drink fun and women at the end of the Carnival period preceding the period of Lent Festivals were meant to take the minds of the people off their everyday life off the hard times and their work Everyday life in Early Modern Europe was filled with rituals both religious and secular Songs and stories played an important role in their lives although they sometimes adjusted the details of the legends and stories to fit the way they thought a certain festival should take place Popular culture was mixed with ecclesiastical culture in many ways The story of St John the Baptist is a good example of this The ancient ritual of bathing and
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