Going to the Masquerade Ball

Going to the Masquerade Ball-By Barb Rondello-Bucher

I have been on a roll with masks lately. One of my favorite folks I made I call Going to the Masquerade Ball. Which got me curious about these balls. So I found this article by Savannah Fox.

Dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, the Masquerade Ball began as part of Europe’s carnival season. Less high society and more cirque du célébration, villagers would gather in masks and costumes to take part in elaborate pageants and glamorous processions.
Quickly spreading across France like wildfire, some of the most notorious balls of the day would be held to celebrate Royal Entries: the grand occasion of welcoming kings and queens into their cities. In fact, so audacious were the masked balls that in 1393, Charles VI of France held the first ever “Bal des Ardents”. Translated as “Burning Men’s Ball”, the event transformed the more orthodoxly decadent costume ball into a night of intrigue and risk.

In celebration of the marriage of the queen’s lady in waiting, King Charles and five of his bravest courtiers dressed in masks and flax costumes and danced the night away as wildsmen of the woods. The only catch was that if your sashaying edged you too close to one of the many flaming torches that lined the dance floor, your look would be smoking–and not for the right reasons.

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t until much later in the 16th century Renaissance period that masquerade balls became associated with Italy, but that never deterred masked members of the Venetian aristocracy from taking full advantage of a scandalous night of anonymity as if it were their own creation. Tied with the Venetian Carnival celebrations, the balls were rife with decadence, gluttony and a large amount of lust. Sadly their reign was rather short-lived, and after the fall of the Venetian Republic in the 18th Century, the masquerade balls began to shrink from the ballrooms of Venice until they were nothing more than a sequined memory.

See the full article by Savannah Fox here.

Barb Rondello-Bucher is proprietor of PunkinPrims. Check out her artist page to find links to her shops and her whimsical kinfolk assemblage. Visit again next month for more from HAB members contributing to the Spooks Gazette.