Weird History

Medieval Peasants Actually Had A Lot Of Free Time (And Here's What They Did With It)

Life for peasants in the Middle Ages was difficult, to say the least - Medieval peasant jobs could often involve long hours of back-breaking labor in less than sanitary conditions - but it wasn’t all bad. Peasants actually had a lot more free time than you might expect. They got every Sunday off, as well as special holidays mandated by the church, not to mention weeks off here and there for special events like weddings and births when they spent a lot of time getting drunk. One estimate is that during the 1300s, peasants might only have worked 150 days a year.

And that might make you wonder, just what exactly did peasants do with all their free time in the Middle Ages? Well, much like we do, they wasted a lot of it. Sure, they didn’t have access to sweet video game consoles or Candy Crush or even mindless binge-watching marathons, but they still found time to fill up their day with games (and even riddles). Lots of creativity went into coming up with some really fun and random ways to fill time.