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Sacred FollyA New History of the Feast of Fools$
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Max Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449567

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449567.001.0001

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Innocents and Fools

Innocents and Fools

(p.246) Chapter 22 Innocents and Fools
Sacred Folly

Max Harris

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on four French cities where lay and clerical festivities overlapped during Christmas week: Toul, Tournai, Amiens, and Clermont. It first considers Toul's clerical feast of the Innocents that combined indoor liturgies with outdoor cavalcades, plays, and masked parades. It then examines a court case from Tournai, now in Belgium, that illustrates the more turbulent relationship between town and clergy at the feast of the Innocents after the cathedral summarily withdrew its outdoor festive entertainment. It also discusses the peaceful coexistence of the liturgical feast of the Circumcision and the secular feast of the prince of fools in Amiens. Finally, it analyzes the Clermont cathedral chapter's abolition of its Feast of Fools on December 5, 1450.

Keywords:   festivities, Christmas, Toul, Tournai, Amiens, Clermont, feast of the Innocents, feast of the Circumcision, feast of the prince of fools, Feast of Fools

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