Weird History

This Medieval Feast Of Fools Was So Extreme The Catholic Church Was Forced To Ban It

Medieval Christians were known for their parties – at least in the eyes of the Catholic Church, which condemned one particularly rowdy get-together for obscenity, drunkenness, and blasphemy. Arising in northern France in the 12th century, it was called the Feast of Fools, and it took place on January 1st every year. During the party, one lucky young boy was crowned bishop for the day, and he was allowed to boss everyone around and demand "donations." After all, even if you were poor, you could still celebrate Christmas like a medieval king

Even though the Catholic Church tried to stop the Feast of Fools, it was incredibly popular for centuries. It even makes an appearance in Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, when Quasimodo gets swept up in the festival and crowned King of Fools.

Medieval peasants knew how to have fun in their free time, and holiday parties were no exception. During the Feast of Fools, the Lord of Misrule could break any rule. Men dressed like women; people gambled in church; and everyone joined in for a rousing round of the "song of the ass." And that was just the beginning.