It is October and Halloween approaches….some Americans use to have costume parties or as they were called masquerade balls.
It is the weekend and once again FYI will prevail….and in doing so I get to use some history to inform and entertain.
So just where did the idea of a “masquerade ball” come from and when?
Keep in mind they were not always the elegant matters that we see in the movies…..
Dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, the Masquerade Ball began as part of Europe’s carnival season. Less high society and more cirque du célébration, villagers would gather in masks and costumes to take part in elaborate pageants and glamorous processions.
Quickly spreading across France like wildfire, some of the most notorious balls of the day would be held to celebrate Royal Entries: the grand occasion of welcoming kings and queens into their cities.
In fact, so audacious were the masked balls that in 1393, Charles VI of France held the first ever “Bal des Ardents”. Translated as “Burning Men’s Ball”, the event transformed the more orthodoxly decadent costume ball into a night of intrigue and risk.
In celebration of the marriage of the queen’s lady in waiting, King Charles and five of his bravest courtiers dressed in masks and flax costumes and danced the night away as wildsmen of the woods.
The only catch was that if your sashaying edged you too close to one of the many flaming torches that lined the dance floor, your look would be smoking–and not for the right reasons.
This “Ball” season may not be all it should be thanks to the pandemic and people avoiding crowds to protect themselves and their families.
Now you know where this idea originated and when……
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”