Every year, the small town of Puy-en-Velay turns back the clock a few hundred years and becomes flooded with knights, peasants, monks, queens and kings (not to mention sheep, goats and pigs). A friend of mine (and fellow blogger – check out breadispain.com, one of the funniest and most insightful expat blogs, in my opinion) invited me to join, so I packed my bags for the weekend and headed off to my first Renaissance festival.
The festival has been around since 1986, so they clearly know what they’re doing. The whole town is involved in the transformation, although with the medieval cathedral and cobblestone streets, half the work is done already. Some of the more committed visitors camp out in authentic historical tents, bringing furs and cauldrons with them. Others just rent a simple costume and head out in the evening for some hypocrase, which is pretty much delicious (cold) mulled wine. I’ve never been to a Renaissance fair in Canada, so I wonder if it turns into such a gigantic party at night. Everyone, from rowdy teenagers to middle-aged couples, are in the streets drinking and dancing.
My friend’s sister actually sewed her costume, little red purse and all. I had pretty strong costume envy, so she let me wear it on the last night
A group of actors preforming on stage:
There was a horse show with some jousting and jumping through fire (sometimes while standing on two horses at the same time).