Feasts, Fairs and Festivals: Mirrors of Renaissance Society
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Examples of Traditional Forms of Popular Culture
Without being able to physically transport students back in time on a Renaissance fieldtrip, one way into the culture is through analysis of artists’ representations of the festivals of this period. These imaginary fieldtrips to the folk ceremonies and celebrations can be exciting experiences for even the unworldly ninth grader. What follows is a description of each of the traditional forms of popular culture with examples of famous paintings which portray the kind of activity involved. The descriptions are intended for the teachers’ background and information and may be used in discussion. The core activity for this unit is a slide show to be viewed and discussed over a three to fourday period. Readings and other related activities will be described later in this unit.