Have you ever attended a Madrigal Feast? If not, you’re in for a treat that your family and visiting relatives of all ages will enjoy. The Madrigal tradition originated as a celebration of the end of the 12 Days of Christmas in Medieval and Renaissance England. More commonly known as “Twelfth Night”, the tradition is still celebrated in many communities as the official end of the holiday season.
In keeping with our theme of 7 Sentimental Gifts for the Holidays, how about surprising your family and friends by stuffing tickets in their stockings to attend a Madrigal Feast together. They’ll enjoy the opportunity to spend time together in a festive atmosphere long after the holiday hustle and bustle has worn off.
What’s a Madrigal Dinner like? Think of it as Dinner Theater. The Madrigal Feast is served in several courses based around a comedic play with a Renaissance theme. In most cases, a grand song is sung before the introduction of each new course is served at dinner and the audience is invited to participate and sing along. Many audiences are asked to play roles during the dinner, such as guests at the wedding of a princess or as participants in a royal proceeding.
If you enjoy a bit of light hearted theater with Kings, Queens, jesters, minstrels, wenches, knights, wizards, thieves and enchanted and mythical figures, consider attending a Madrigal Feast with family and friends each year as part of your new Yule holiday tradition. The camaraderie, playfulness and fantasy continues the lighthearted fun of the holiday season into January. After all, who doesn’t like to start the New Year with merrymaking, feasting and theater?
In North Carolina, the NC Historical Enrichment Society is hosting a Twelfth Night Madrigal Feast on January 8, 2011. Their celebration is hosted by King Henry VIII who will bring songs, dance, mischief, revelry and skits to keep all members of his court entertained and amused during the feasting.
As guests of King Henry and the NC Historical Society, you’ll dine like royalty with a four course meal which includes:
- First Course – Mushroom Tart
- Second Course – Tomato Bisque
- Main Course – Half Herbed Cornish Hen with New Potatoes, Baby Carrots, String Beans en Papillote and Crusty Bread
- Fourth Course – King Cake
Drink – Mulled Apple Cider and 1 glass of Wine or Beer included with meal. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.historicalenrichmentsociety.org/historicalMadrigal.html
Madrigal Feasts can be found all around the US. Check your local area for listings.
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