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A King TravelsFestive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain$
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Teofilo F. Ruiz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153575

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153575.001.0001

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The Meaning of Festivals: A Typology

The Meaning of Festivals: A Typology

Chapter:
(p.34) Chapter II The Meaning of Festivals: A Typology
Source:
A King Travels
Author(s):

Teofilo F. Ruiz

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691153575.003.0002

This chapter presents a typology of the diversity of ludic events, their origins, and evolution in late medieval and early modern Spain. There has long been an argument that Spanish festivals, celebratory cycles, and chivalrous activities, such as the tournament, did not originate in the peninsula but were most often imported from elsewhere. Festivities are, of course, as old as humanity itself. They are, in some ways, an aspect of that ludic drive that articulates the human need for play. At the individual, family, or community level, celebrations have played, and continue to play, a significant role in social relations, linking networks of individuals into temporary cohesive units. A birth, a coming of age, a wedding, a death, and all the high points of the life cycle call for some kind of ritual marking. Depending on wealth and social standing, these celebrations may be either exaggerated displays of one's lofty position or humble affairs.

Keywords:   ludic events, Spanish festivals, celebratory cycles, chivalrous activities, tournament, social relations, life cycle, ritual making

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