Dbq Rituals and Festivals

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Casey La
Period 4
9/26/10
Rituals and festivals have been parts of traditional European life for many centuries.  They included all social classes, religions, and occurred in many areas across Europe. For example, festivals have been used as a way to vent out stress and express one’s self. Rituals as well help support the understanding of social classes. Some rituals like charivari could take place at any time that helped construct order around Europe by public humiliation and torture. Rituals and festivals served the practical purpose of stabilizing society through release of stress, reinforcement in social classes, and public displays of order. The chaoses of festivals such as carnivals were an area for drinking, violence, and other sinful activities.  To some like R Lassels,(Doc 5) a French traveler, this was important because it was a positive way to release tensions built up during a stressful year.  These periodic carnivals may have also allowed for a better chance of stability throughout the rest of the year.  In addition the fact that R Lassels was a traveler and new to these events give a positive response to the carnivals (POV). However, Lutheran pastor, Balthsar Rusow, (Doc 2) thought carnivals and festivals were immoral and negative.  His (POV) is significant by the fact that he was a Lutheran minister commenting on a saints-day festival with much resentment. On the other hand, even to those who didn’t believe that festivals were as terrible, as a Lutheran pastor, the behavior of people during these events did many times go out of control.  A century later in England, John Taylor, an English writer, (Doc 4) wrote of an event where the youth are armed and spread havoc by looting buildings, and breaking windows. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Europe experienced an increase in political instability because of the French Revolution, rituals and festivals were then used to express political opinions. This then lead to a police inspector in Toulouse,...
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