The reason why banquets are still popular today in the modern era is not difficult to understand. In 11th-13th century Europe, a medieval banquet was the very icon of indulgence and splendour. Medieval food, wine and entertainment all came together for a celebration or special occasion.
A banquet also symbolized power and influence and colourful, historic surroundings often played a large part in the proceedings. A large medieval banquet hall draped in medieval style tapestries and decorations was the stage in many castles and manor houses. Novel entertainment and music was also important in creating the right atmosphere and the food was exotic and plentiful. These are the key ingredients that people today find attractive and make them want to experience a modern medieval banquet at some point in their lives.
This type of banquet in the 21st century is enjoyed by a wide range of people and for a wide variety of reasons.
Reasons To Stage A Medieval Banquet
- a public celebration
– at a medieval castle that was once the home of a feudal lord but is now open to the public. Many castles that have been preserved still have a Great Hall where medieval banquets have been held for centuries. A castle today might hold a modern medieval banquet today to raise money for its upkeep.
– a charitable function where the organisers want to raise money
– a special ceremony where a number of people are to be presented with awards
- a private celebration:
Whatever the occasion, a modern medieval-style banquet is nearly always organized for a large number of people to get together and celebrate. Also, speeches are usually on the agenda. Indeed, in some countries today this type of celebration is hosted at the end of an academic conference.
Medieval Banquet Entertainment
Music is primarily the focus of entertainment at a modern medieval banquet and there are many individual performers and troupes today who can provide medieval banquet music. In addition to music, of course, there are card magicians and medieval jesters who can readily entertain at a private banquet.
For a more dynamic performance, you could even hire a medieval juggler – and there are some brilliant ones around!
More often than not, they are circus performers with incredible skills acquired over many years.
With colourful costumes and a novel repertoire of comic performance, whether you hire a medieval jester or a medieval juggler, these entertainers can help create the perfect atmosphere for a modern medieval banquet.
Banquet Venues Today
In addition to numerous castles and old country estates who stage banquets annually (some more often), there are also venues who style themselves totally in the vein of a medieval era banqueting hall. Generally they are open to the public but can also be hired for a private function. There are even companies who will bring this type of banquet to you – at your chosen venue and including additional post-banquet fun such as Texas Holdem poker (the increasingly popular poker card game and successor to medieval gambling games played in the 11th-13th century). Click here to read more about banquet venues.