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  • 'The Song Of The Ass' Was About A Donkey on Random Things of The Medieval Feast Of Fools Was So Extreme Catholic Church Was Forced To Ban It

    (#9) 'The Song Of The Ass' Was About A Donkey

    Even a seemingly holy song could easily devolve into chaos. At early celebrations of the Feast of Fools, the revelers sang a "song of the ass." It was about a donkey taking a long journey. In the song, the donkey crosses the river Jordan and visits Bethlehem. The story, sung in church during the week of Christmas, evokes the Biblical tale of Mary and Joseph traveling by donkey just before the birth of Jesus. 

    However, the song often got out of hand. In some cases, people led an actual donkey into the church, which was bound to cause problems. On another occasion, a rowdy person smacked a cleric with "an inflated and swollen hen's bladder" during the song.

  • The Church Tried To Ban Masks Entirely Since People Acted Crazier In Disguise on Random Things of The Medieval Feast Of Fools Was So Extreme Catholic Church Was Forced To Ban It

    (#3) The Church Tried To Ban Masks Entirely Since People Acted Crazier In Disguise

    Even though the Feast of Fools was a wild party with no rules, people still wanted to hide their identities. After all, they were throwing dice in church and singing obscene songs. So, many medieval partiers showed up for the Feast of Fools wearing masks. 

    The authorities knew that the masks only made people more wild, so they tried to ban masks. In 2017, Pope Innocent III complained about "masked shows" that took place in church during Christmas season. In Lille in 1398, the church declared that masks were banned at New Year's celebrations. Another church complained in 1404 that the clergy were wearing "masks in the shape of devils."

  • Gambling Was Made Legal For The Day on Random Things of The Medieval Feast Of Fools Was So Extreme Catholic Church Was Forced To Ban It

    (#5) Gambling Was Made Legal For The Day

    All the rules were lifted: prohibitions on gambling for money were repealed for a single day, so everyone gambled. As one scholar explains, "There were no regulations: on this day, people were permitted to do everything that was forbidden during the rest of the year." And people definitely took advantage.  

  • Ironically, The Church Started The Tradition As A Celebration Of The Gospel on Random Things of The Medieval Feast Of Fools Was So Extreme Catholic Church Was Forced To Ban It

    (#7) Ironically, The Church Started The Tradition As A Celebration Of The Gospel

    Ironically, even though the Catholic Church condemned the parties, they most likely started the tradition. Even though the Feast of Fools was often chaotic and sometimes violent, it originally had a very specific purpose: to play-act the verse in Matthew 20:16 where Jesus said, "the last will be first, and the first will be last."

    For a single day during the Feast of Fools, according to scholar Max Harris, the lowest clergyman would switch places with the bishop. It was a reaffirmation of Jesus' promise that the last would be first. In many places, a "boy bishop" was crowned. When the boy bishop marched through town, even the real bishop bowed down. However, even though it had a loose connection to Jesus' words, the tradition could easily spiral into a riot.

  • The Party Had Roman Roots on Random Things of The Medieval Feast Of Fools Was So Extreme Catholic Church Was Forced To Ban It

    (#11) The Party Had Roman Roots

    The Feast of Fools shared a number of similarities with the Roman festivities of Saturnalia. During Saturnalia, a celebration of the Roman god Saturn, social roles were also reversed. A mock king was chosen, and slaves were allowed to do what they wanted for a day. And Saturnalia was also celebrated around Christmas time – in fact, the Roman celebration likely influenced how Christians celebrate Christmas. 

    If the Feast of Fools did have Roman roots, it's less surprising that the Catholic Church wanted to condemn it, even if the celebration originally started to honor a Gospel verse.

  • The Feast Of Fools Wasn't The Only Huge Winter Party on Random Things of The Medieval Feast Of Fools Was So Extreme Catholic Church Was Forced To Ban It

    (#12) The Feast Of Fools Wasn't The Only Huge Winter Party

    The Feast of Fools wasn't the only enormous party in the dead of winter. By that time of year, people across Europe were ready to blow off some steam, so there were a number of parties that took place in late December and early January. In some places, for example, the same kinds of parties occurred during Carnivale, the period just before Lent. 

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About This Tool

April Fools' Day is an ancient festival in European history. In modern times, April Fools' Day is a festival for joking with each other, but the Europeans in the Middle Ages attached great importance to these days and their celebrations were extremely crazier. It can be said that it was the feast of fools that allowed people in the Middle Ages to spend a long and hard time. The Middle Ages is not a beautiful era in people's ideas.

At that time, the serious and hard-line medieval church not only did not suppress this recreational activity but supported and encouraged such activities in the feast of fools. The random tool introduced 12 extreme things of the Medieval feast of fools.

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