Medieval Activities & Hobbies

How did people entertain themselves during the Middle Ages? What activities were done on a day-to-day basis, and what constituted an extraordinary event? Whether you’re curious about the thrill of jousting tournaments, the peculiarities of medieval hygiene practices, the origins of Halloween, or the delectable cuisine enjoyed by knights and nobles, we have you covered.

Most Popular Medieval Activities

During the medieval period, various activities captured the attention and interest of people across different social classes. They served as social gatherings, showcased skills, bravery, and social status, and were integral to the cultural fabric of medieval society, reflecting the values, interests, and aspirations of the people of that time.

Here are five of the most popular medieval activities:

  • Jousting and Tournaments: Jousting was a highly popular and prestigious activity among knights and nobles. It involved mounted knights engaging in combat with lances while wearing armour. Tournaments, including other competitive events such as sword fighting and archery, provided entertainment and opportunities for knights to display their skills and valour.

  • Feasting and Banquets: Medieval feasting and banquets were elaborate and extravagant affairs, especially among the nobility. These grand events showcased the wealth and status of the host and involved indulging in a wide array of sumptuous dishes accompanied by music, entertainment, and performances.

  • Hunting and Hawking: Hunting was a favoured pastime among the nobility and played a crucial role in training knights for warfare. Hunts involved pursuing and capturing wild game, often with the assistance of trained hunting dogs and falcons. Hawking, the sport of falconry, involved using birds of prey to hunt small game birds.

  • Festivals and Fairs: Medieval festivals and fairs were important social and cultural events. They celebrated religious occasions, such as the Feast of Corpus Christi, and marked seasonal changes. These gatherings brought communities together for festivities that included music, dance, processions, theatrical performances, and various forms of entertainment.

  • Games and Sports: Various games and sports were popular among different social classes during the Middle Ages. Both nobles and commoners enjoyed archery contests, wrestling, dice games, board games like chess and backgammon, and even early forms of football as recreational activities.

Books about Medieval Life