（Contributed by Shannon）
A couple of weeks ago a Medieval festival was held in the countryside about an hour from my city (Brisbane). I went along and thought it would be interesting to share the experience. ’Medieval’ refers to the Middle Ages in European history, which went from the 5th to the 5th Century. Accordingly, this festival was a celebration and re-enactment of that era.
The festival was a lot larger and more popular than I expected! I think the recent popularity of medieval TV shows such as Vikings and Game of Thrones has really piqued peoples’ interests.
It was so large that there were several areas, each with a different theme. For example, there was a Viking area, a Gypsy area, a Celtic area, a German area etc. In these areas there were ‘re-enactors’, people dressed in costume performing everyday tasks such as cooking themed food, crafting weapons, and sewing. A lot of these people really made an effort to speak in old English as well!
The festival also held a wide variety of events. There were many things to go and watch (or participate in) like horseback jousting, camel racing, sword fighting tournaments, dancing, puppet shows for children, and universitstyle lectures on life in Medieval times.
There were lots of goods to buy too: Real weapons and armour, fox furs, old books. Mostly though I was interested in trying the food. I tried mead for the first time and I really recommend it if you can find it! It’s similar to wine, but it’s made from honey so it’s very sweet. It can be drunk hot or cold. Unfortunately it’s a little hard to locate so I think I’ll have to wait until next year before I can try it again.
Overall it was a really fun experience! Even though the landscape was very Australian (it was quite hot, there were gum trees and kangaroos, and the castle was made of cardboard), it was interesting and often felt quite authentic! If you’re in town around July you should come along to the Abbey Medieval Festival and see for yourself!