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EASTER FACTIOD: Easter Games of the Middle Ages

Enjoy this party game fitted to the Easter party theme:
EASTER CANDY TOSS: Take a piece of red construction paper and draw 3 circles in the middle of the paper. Make the circles three different sizes so it resembles a bull's eye (the size of the circles will depend on the age of the kids, the older the kids the smaller the circle). Color each circle a different color and write in different point values for each circle.

And, here is another Easter party idea:
BLOWING THE EGG: Two pieces of cotton or tape are stretched across the carpet. An ordinary hen's egg -- which has had the entire contents removed without cracking the shell -- is laid exactly midway between the tape lines. A girl player then makes a little paper fan out of half a sheet of notepaper and kneels down on one side of the tapes and a boy kneels down on the other. The girl then has to try to fan the egg shell across the tape on the boy's side and he has to try to blow the shell back across the tape on the girl's side. The one who first drives the egg across his partner's line three times wins the contest. Nothing must be used by the girl but the paper fan or her hand, and the boy must simply blow with his mouth.

The Easter egg is a symbol of continuing life and resurrection. Here are some of the future dates Easter falls:
April 21 2019
April 12, 2020
April 4, 2021
April 17, 2022
April 9, 2023
An Easter party can include an Easter egg hunt and games like an egg roll that is basically a race where each player rolls their egg to a finish line.

A theme party featuring Easter with party games altered to fit the Easter party makes the event stay tied together.  Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon after the moon's Spring Equinox.

Easter Crossword Puzzle

Free Printable Easter Party Game & Pen and Paper Activity
Free Printable Easter Party Game and Pen and Paper Activity

Easter Printables: Easter Games bargain BUN-dle
Easter Printable Games Trivia

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Easter Egg Hunt Clues printable game

Easter Games of the Middle Ages

Have you played ball games, followed mazes or danced in church on Easter lately? Not likely, since these customs common to the Middle Ages have long been passe. But they were part of the Easter celebrations of that era in northern France.

The nave of the Chartres Cathedral, built hundreds of years ago, was designed as a labyrinth 42 feet in diameter. People could walk its entire winding course. The symbolism of the maze has largely been lost, but it probably represented a pilgrimage of sorts. It may have been intended to replicate Christ's trip through Hell, believed by some to have taken place during the days between his crucifixion and resurrection. In some of the church labyrinths constructed during that period, decorations represented the Minotaur, an animal that figured in the Greek myths about the hero Theseus, but in the Christian cathedrals, the emphasis had shifted to portray Christ's journey.

An ancient 14th Century document documents yet another use of cathedral labyrinths. On Easter Monday, they became ball courts, where the clergy danced through the maze tossing balls from one to another. These dances were probably holdovers from pagan customs.

The dances and ball games have been associated with the cathedrals of Auxerre, Sens and Amiens and likely Chartres as well. Max Harris, author of "Sacred Folly: A New History of the Feast of Fools," writes that before Vespers on Easter Monday, the members of the cathedral chapter would gather in the home of the archbishop to eat meat and drink spiced wine. Then the archbishop would toss the first ball to begin the games.

The ritual called for the man newest to the community to carry the ball, which was too large for a single hand, to the cathedral. He would pass it to the archbishop, who danced with it into the labyrinth. A special hymn was sung before the dance through the maze began, the leader tossing the ball to his followers in turn. When the leader reached the center of the maze, the game was over.

Many interpretations of the dance have been forwarded by scholars, but most assume it was a recreation of the perceived order of the universe, which at that time was thought to be 12 concentric layers. It connoted a belief in the divine order of the universe, no matter how confused the human experience seemed to be.

If, as as some supposed, the dance represented a mix of the the adventures of Theseus and Christ's journey through Hell, the ball may have represented one of the two orbs Theseus used to conquer the Minotaur. The first of Theseus' weapons was a ball of pitch which he used to stop the monster's mouth, representing Christ's humanity, while the second, a ball of thread that Theseus unwound to guide him through the maze, represented the Savior's divinity.

Limited to the northern area of France, this particular ritual persisted for several centuries before, in the late 15th century, a new priest came to Auxerre with a dislike for the custom. He did not bring the ball with him when he was supposed to. Though he was eventually convinced to play along, it was the beginning of the end for the maze dances and the ritual began to disappear.


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