I went to Hungerford, Berkshire about 2 years ago to see a jousting tournament. Wow! it was awesome and fun. I was completely taken with the costumes and the set not to mention the jousting ‘demo’. It was like the movies but this was not a movie, this was a real event and I was just a breath away from the actors.
So what is jousting? According to a number of definitions, jousting is a competition although it seemed to me then more like ‘armed combat’. Two men in armor and helmet charge at eachother on horseback with long javelins (long spears) with the objective of knocking the other off their horse. It is a Medieval equestrian sport. Jousting tournaments were held between men where the stronger won or perhaps the best strategist won. Actually, it might be best to visit: http://www.wisegeek.com, http://www.tudorbritain.org and http://www.knight-medieval.com/medieval-knights-jousting for more information on jousting. I think there are other sources on information on jousting too on the web and in libraries throughout the country.
What I can make out from this jousting tournament was that it is a spectator sport. Many jousting tournaments are held around the country about Spring time and has also become a big tourist attraction – drawing large crowds of residents and visitors alike. People like me to satisfy my curiosity about British history and traditions. The jousting tournament I went to see was held in May 2008.
Jousting is one of the events I wanted so much to see when I was preparing to come to the UK.
Now, if I had lived in the Medieval period I wonder who or where I would be in a jousting tournament? I think I would want to be one of the onlookers or someone providing cool beverages for the knights. After having seeing this jousting tournament, I can now understand better some of my primary school history lessons. Here at Hungerford, I loved the colourful costumes, the shields and coats of arms, the horses and the enactment of jousting tournaments in days gone by.
The costumes are awesome. In this particular tournament, the locals, it seemed put on this show also for their own residents which is a great thing. The young learn their own history and traditions. Our histories and traditions define us as people of our respective nations. Hence to appreciate the past is to embrace the part of us that can never go away. It gives us the uniqueness that makes us a nation – uncomparable to others near and far.
I spent the time taking lots of photos. What a day that was. Later I went to a Medieval banquet. That was another first. I left Hungerford feeling so pleased for the privilege to see a jousting tournament and partake of a sumptuous Medieval banquet.