Monday, March 6, 2017

Before Public Gardens & Parks - Celebrating at the 16C Public Village Fair

1590 Gillis Mostaert (1528–1598) Village Fair

A fair is an ancient tradition. Early Roman fairs were holidays during which the people did not work. In the Middle Ages, many fairs developed as temporary commercial markets, especially important for long-distance trade, where traders could buy & sell. These often were tied to a Christian religious occasion particularly the anniversary dedication of a local church or the feast day of the patron saint to whom the local church was dedicated. Some fairs were seasonal festivals, such as harvest celebrations. To these often religious-based commercial marketplaces townsfolk added processions, entertainment, and food & drink, as these early markets took on the aspect of modern-day fairs. Many communities have long had dedicated fairgrounds; others hold fairs in a variety of public places, including streets & town squares, and large gardens.