Ap Euro Rituals Dbq

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Rituals and festivals played a crucial role in traditional European life throughout the modern period. Rituals, such as charivari (“riding the stang”) allowed for the community to join together and have fun, teach lessons, and even make political statements. Festivals such as carnival, and that on midsummer night’s eve allowed for the community to relax, release their burdens, join together, learn from one another and, to the dismay of some, also served as a medium of spreading vices. Despite their disorderly nature, these ritualized activities actually served to reinforce traditional social values by building a sense of community, by imposing mechanisms of social control, and providing outlets for political discontent. Many rituals and festivals built community spirit and unity. One of the earlier rituals, described by Brother Giovanni di Carlo delineates sons going through the streets acting as their fathers, who were the leaders of the city. [Doc. 1] Brother Giovanni describes the magnificence in which the sons performed and the enjoyment shared by the citizens, and, obviously, by himself. The celebration of midsummer night was a festival of fun, honesty, and openness. In it, servants and masters conversed and everyone is told their faults; however, no offense was taken—the celebration brought the community of Scilly Island together, as Henry Bourne, an outsider perceived it. [Doc. 6] Baltasar Rusow, a Lutheran pastor commented on the drinking, “disorder, whoring, killing and dreadful idolatry” that took place on a saint’s feast day. [Doc. 2] Rusow may have taken the holiday more seriously than others because he obviously was a religious man, and may have exaggerated; however, vices tend to be displayed on holidays. This idea is clearly depicted in Brueghel’s “Battle Between Carnival and Lent” in which a man on a keg faces off against a nun. [Doc. 3]
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