venerdì 15 giugno 2007

Baltic Medieval Festival

Baltic Medieval Festival
The Baltic Medieval Festival is being organised since 2001 and traditionally takes place on the second weekend of June. The reason for the constant dates is the fact that several other historically orientated activities are usually planned in the following summer months in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belorussia, Russia, Poland, Ukrain and in Scandinavia. So, organizers do their best to open the high season of the historical reenactment activities at least in Baltics.
The festival is internationally orientated. Until now, the participants from Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia, Ukrain, Finland, Sweden, Polska, Germany and Czech Republic have taken active part in it. Still, the festival involves more participants from different areas by every year, thus giving chance for visitors to gain vivid and diverse impressions of varied medieval activities.
The main purpouse of the Baltic medieval festival is reconstruct and demonstrate the historical events, material environment and emotianal surroundings as authentically as possible and in a historically - adequate manner. Therefore the visitors, arriving to the festival field can observe knights fighting their duels in the tournament, for the rights to choose the Queen of the tournament, swordfighting demonstrations and battle imitations involving masses of armed men. Visitors themselves can try their skills in archery range as well. Here one can also enjoy medieval dance and music, watch plays, staged by medieval actors (traditionally - men only). The ancient craftsmen not only demonstrate their crafts, but also invites everyone - both grownups and children to participate in the creation of new beautiful masterpieces. The program of each festival is made different ensuring that every next festival brings us something new and even more exciting. There are much of those options available due to the fact that the festival thematically embraces the wide historical period of 9th to 15th centuries.
The creator of the idea of organising this festival is Andris Geidāns, leader of the historical reenactment group Exceritus Rigensis (ex-Livonieši). Initially the festival was organised by a group of like-minded persons and friends who have consolidated into a non governmental organisation Historical Festivals' Association since 2004.
The idea of organising a festival like this is based on the fact that there is an increasing social interest in the medieval culture and history of the Baltic region and also there were no historically orientated events of such scale in Baltics before. The ever growing number of participants and visitors proves the idea being right. So, for example, there were 150 persons participating (80 of them were from Latvia) and 2500 visitors attending the First Baltic medieval festival. But the Fourth Baltic medieval festival had 300 participants (150 of them representing Latvia), and in spite of the bad weather conditions almost 4000 visitors. Since year 2005 festival has changed the place of location from Cesis to Valmiera.
When we took up organising of the First Baltic medieval festival in 2001, we were absolute beginners on the background of the similar events taking place in the neighbouring counrties for a long time before. But during these six years Baltic Medieval festival has proved itself to be of great vitality and able to develop even more.

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