Holidays

Renaissance Winter

It’s that time of year again where there is a nip in the air. The sparkling white snow is creating a chilly blanket across the fair land. Far and wide the people are donning their woolen coats, hooded capes, fine over gowns, and hooded cloaks. Are you in search of some fine winter garb? Pearson’s Renaissance Shoppe has exactly what you need!

Have you seen Pearson’s Queen of Shemakhan Wool Coat? With details of Asian Manchoo Costume along with elements of the Balkanian style this is definitely an elegant choice for any authentic LARPer. This is a slim fit coat made of high quality natural wool with a black satin lining. The hood boasts a black faux fur boarder. Intricate ribbon trim accents this winter wonder. Accessories that come with this beautiful floor length coat are a  fur trimmed hat, a fur muff, and a matching wool bag.

Another fabulous option is our Templar Hooded Cape. Whether you are a fine Lord or Knight of the Realm this is the option for you! Made of white cotton with a velvet cross stitched over the left arm. The front is secured with a decorative rondel leather frog with a snap closure. It is 52 inches long and matches our Templar tunic. It also sports a hood to complete the look.

Are you interested in looking royal? Try our Anne Boleyn Overgown, designed for the Anne Boleyn character in the award winning series “The Tudors.” As the second and most famous wife of King Henry VIII this gown is fit for any Queen. A open outer robe made of heavyweight cotton and richly adorned with faux fur with openings at the elbows instead of sleeves for your arms. You’re sure to keep warm in this cuddly overgown on any cold winter day.

Here at Pearson’s Renaissance Shoppe we have cloaks for every need; from cotton, velvet, twill, wool, leather lined, and fur trimmed we have the hooded cloak that’s right for you. Our Medieval Wool Cloak is a great accessory for just about any attire. Made of heavy natural green wool with a handmade wool border, this warm cloak has no machine stitching at all and is a great authentic option.

Are you looking for a warm winter option to complete your Medieval Costume? Be sure to check out Pearson’s Renaissance Shoppe’s great selection of Hooded Capes and Cloaks today!

A Renaissance Christmas

If you think about it the tradition of cutting a tree from the forest, or better yet, buying one from the local Walmart, and then dragging it inside to cover in bright lights and small brick-a-brack it is a somewhat strange one. Who was it that decided to bring the outside in for the first time? It was possibly the 16th century German preacher Martin Luther. As the tale goes he was walking through the forest one night before Christmas and looked up to see the stars shimmering through the tree branches. It was so breathtaking a sight that he returned home with a tree to tell his children it reminded him of Jesus, who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at Christmas. He placed small candles on the ends of the branches to resemble the shining stars.

During the Renaissance period Christmas was a much more solemn event than it is today. It was a day devoted to reflection and prayer, celebrated with a special mass called the “Cristes Maesee” or “The Mass of Christ.” The biggest celebration of the season was actually celebrated on what was called Twelfth Night. It was the night before Epiphany, twelve days after Christmas, when the three Wise Men found the newborn Christ child and presented him with gifts. The tradition of exchanging gifts at Christmas is believed to be a continuance of the gifts bestowed upon baby Jesus on the night of his birth. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin the evening of December 24th and last until Epiphany, January 6th. During the Renaissance period the official end of the Christmas holiday season was Twelfth Night and was the traditional day for taking down Christmas decorations.

While a Renaissance Christmas was somewhat more somber than the Christmas Christians think of today, there were yule logs and feasts, dancing and singing, and of course the exchanging of gifts. Are you looking for the perfect Renaissance gift to give to that someone special? Here at Pearson’s Renaissance Shoppe we have the perfect high quality Renaissance attire to bring some of that old world magic into your holiday season!

Sound the Alarms! A Midsummer Night Wedding Is Approaching!

Ah, there is nothing quite as magical as a midsummer night gathering to join two love birds in their life –long of matrimony! Sound the trumpets for this unforgettable event – a renaissance wedding is one of our favorite of events here at Pearson’s! After being courted by the knight of your dreams, after months of planning your guest list and picking out just the right merriment of food and drink, it’s finally time to look for a renaissance wedding dress, worthy of making you truly the fairest in the land! After all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event—you want to be the most desired dutchess, the most beautiful of all maidens, the most royal of ladies, and the most shinning of Queens. Fortunately, here at Pearson’s we have got a wide array of beautiful renaissance wedding dresses to make you feel like all of those things and more!

From Renaissance wedding dresses in traditional shades of white, to the royalty of bright and bold reds and gold, you’re sure to find just the attire fitting for the look and feel of your big event. Whether your wedding is small and intimate or as large and as royal as they come, we’ve got just the renaissance wedding dresses for you and your bridesmaids! You’ll wow the nobleman and be the envy of every lady in the land.  From maiden gowns to Italian Countess dresses and more, you’ll be in awe of our wide assortment of renaissance wedding dresses.

And while you’re in the market amongst our beautiful renaissance wedding dresses, don’t forget about the accessories! Oh, the accessories! They add just the right touch of royalty, just the right amount of sparkle. Add a waist cincher or underpinning to make your renaissance wedding dress truly stand out. And don’t forget to add a touch of gold! Shop an array of fine renaissance jewelry, including necklaces, crowns, earrings and bracelets.

So gather your royal maidens, indulge in a glass of deep red wine, and browse our selection of truly gorgeous renaissance wedding dresses. Together, you’re sure to come across a piece that you truly adore – something that your fair knight will adore just as much!

Happy (Medieval) New Year’s!

Last month, we highlighted some holiday food traditions of the medieval period. While we’ll probably never get used to some of the recipes in that medieval cookbook, we certainly had a fun time reading about them! This month, we’re going to look at another holiday: New Year’s! Did you know that Julius Caesar declared January 1st the start of the new year because the month is named after the Roman god Janus, who was said to look into both the future and past with his two faces? Here are some facts about how people in the medieval period celebrated New Year’s.

  • The Council of Tours, a gathering of medieval Roman Catholic officials, abolished January 1st as the start of a new year in 567. It took Europe 561 years to agree that January 1st could be considered the start of the new year. The first nations to accept the date were Eastern European nations in 1362.
  • Before January 1st was adopted, countries in medieval times observed New Year’s on different days. For example, some countries chose to celebrate on December 25th while others considered March 25tgh the start of the new year.
  • England, in particular, had a tough time deciding when they wanted to celebrate the new year. Initially, they chose December 25th. Once William the Conqueror came into power, the date was changed to January 1st. Later, it was changed again to March 25th. It wasn’t until 1752 when January 1st became the final choice.

 

Have a Medieval Style Holiday!

Now that the holidays are in full swing and you can’t seem to go anywhere without hearing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” At Pearson’s Renaissance Shoppe, the holidays are really special to us. Not only do we get to be festive and celebrate with our friends and family, we also take some time to learn a little bit about medieval and Renaissance era holiday traditions. Today, we found some great information about what exactly people in the medieval era ate during this festive time.

Did you know that people in medieval times actually celebrated twelve days of Christmas? That’s a lot of celebrating! Wealthy people and people of nobility were able to feast upon fresh meat and flavor them with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper from India and Indonesia. Wealthy people were also able to afford sugar, so sweets were plentiful for the upper class people in the medieval period during the holidays.

Less fortunate people would still celebrate with food, but the food wouldn’t be as luxurious. Less expensive meat like sausage and bacon were eaten, and while sugar may not have been plentiful, poorer people still indulged in dried apples and honey.

No matter how you celebrate the holiday this year, keep some medieval style in mind. Take a look at The Forme of Cury, a cookbook written around 1390. This will give you some inspiration and who knows – maybe you’ll find your next holiday tradition!

Bring the Renaissance Faire Home in the New Year

There is so much promise and expectation when moving into a New Year that it can be overwhelming. It is a time when many of us call on ourselves to start doing nearly everything better, and the result can bring the opposite of the intended effect. When it all seems too much, sometimes we just think “well, nevermind!” and end up doing nothing at all. I’m going to work hard to ensure that doesn’t happen to me, and I hope you will, too!

Part of safeguarding myself against feeling overwhelmed is in creating resolutions that focus on a positive rather than a negative in their approach and language. The words we say to ourselves have a power well beyond imagination, and my first resolution is to start being a lot more respectful when talking to me! That should help me carry out my other resolutions quite nicely. As for those other resolutions? One I’m really excited about it my resolve to bring the Renaissance Faire home…

As much as many of my friends and I love Renaissance Faires and Festivals, none of us are able to attend them as frequently as we would like to. Whether it’s conflicting schedules, or there simply isn’t one nearby when the Renaissance itch fires up, there are inevitably times we would love to don our favorite Renaissance costumes and get together for endless fun times, but can’t. Or can we? I think I have a solution – I’m bringing it home, baby!

We have all invested a lot of time and money into creating Renaissance costume collections that are nothing short of magnificent. It’s truly a shame to only break those pieces out of the closet a few times a year when they’re so magically fun to wear. Additionally, beyond all the clothes, shoes and jewelry, what makes the Renaissance Faire so special is being surrounded by others with a common interest who are also excited and ready for fun. The worries of the real world get to slip away for the day at a Ren Faire, and that is a rare and beautiful thing! We all get to be who we want to be – who we really are beneath all the bills, commutes, and everyday obligations. And, importantly, we get to be our relaxed Renaissance selves with friends and family. What could be better?

This year, I will still attend my favorite Faires and Festivals. I will still keep an eye open for new events that spark my interest, and attend them whenever I can. But I will also take time to set up a Renaissance-themed get-together or two in my home. I love entertaining, and it would be so much fun to see my friends arrive in their grandest garb for turkey legs at my table! And hey – if things don’t go exactly as planned, that’s OK. I’m sure we’ll have a wonderful time in any scenario, as long as I can keep the pirates from trying to set sail in the neighbor’s swimming pool!

Celebrate the New Year with Medieval Flair: Looking Back on New Year’s History

When you spend as much time around Medieval clothing, Renaissance clothing, and other historical garb as we do, you can’t help but get interested in the past a little bit. With 2013 knocking at the door, many of you are probably figuring out your New Year’s resolution or doing something similar. It might be a fun idea to resolve to look back on the past a bit in the coming year to see exactly where we’ve all come from. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the celebration of the New Year has changed throughout history.

  • It should go without saying that the celebration of a new year is the oldest of all recorded holidays. It was first observed in Babylon about 4000 years ago. In those days, the New Year began with the first New Moon after the first day of spring. This makes sense—the season of spring feels like a true time of rebirth and renewal.
  • So how did the New Year come to fall on January 1? The Romans celebrated the New Year in late March, but emperors changed the calendar and one thing just led to another. In an effort to set the calendar straight, the Roman senate declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year way back in 153 BC.
  • During the Middle Ages, the Church was actually opposed to the celebration of New Years. It didn’t become a Western celebration until about 400 years ago. Huh!

Ring in the New Year in style by choosing the perfect Medieval clothing and Renaissance clothing from Pearson’s! Don’t party like it’s 2013… Party like it’s 1613!

Medieval Christmas Traditions come to Life

Bring some of the past along with your presents!

Christmas Eve is upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited! Christmas was one of the most important and sacred holidays back in the Middle Ages. It was a time of both spiritual reflection and festive gatherings! (Much like it is today, we suppose.) Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Medieval Christmas decorating ideas. You never know—it might not be too late to incorporate some of them into your very own holiday décor along with your Renaissance clothing!

  • Nativity scenes are still popular today, so they are a very easy way to bring a Medieval touch to your Christmas décor. They first appeared in 10th Century Rome, and they were quite commonplace in upper class households during the Middle Ages.
  • Holly, mistletoe, ivy, and pine boughs could be seen everywhere—from humble homes to high society—during Christmastime. These greens actually date back to pre-Christian times in Europe, where they were part of the winter solstice celebrations.
  • Apples and nuts held some symbolic meaning for Medieval Christians. They represented the Virgin Mary and the little baby Jesus. Medieval people collected them during the harvest to store throughout the winter. During the Christmas holiday, they were placed in chalices and bowls around the household. (We wonder if this is where that awful fruitcake tradition got its roots…)

From all of us here at Pearson’s Renaissance Shoppe, we hope you have a marvelous Christmas season!

Harry Potter Costumes: You can have a Hogwarts Holiday!

One of the most beautiful scenes in any of the Harry Potter movies would have to be the time when Hogwarts celebrated Christmas. In fact, the witches and wizards at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry took Christmas so seriously that they celebrated it for several weeks. Each Christmas, the Hogwarts Great Hall is decorated with towering Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe, and other Yuletide accents. And, since it’s a magical world, the school is also decorated with live fairies that fly around the trees, and everlasting icicles that add a touch of winter whimsy. There’s even dry snow floating around from the Enchanted Ceiling.

You can’t quite reenact everything about a Hogwarts Christmas, but you can certainly make sure that you look the part as you celebrate your own Muggle holiday! Here at Pearson’s Renaissance Shoppe, we have a selection of Harry Potter costumes to help you look and feel magical this holiday season. You can find some unique Triwizard Tournament shirts, Hogwarts school scarves, wizard robes, wizard hats, and other great wizard costumes

You may not have access to magic, but our Harry Potter costumes will help bring a little bit of Hogwarts into your holiday celebration. And they certainly make great gifts for the Harry Potter fan on your list!

Renaissance Costumes as Christmas Gifts

Medieval Costume Christmas Gifts

The holiday season isn’t far off, and a Renaissance costume is a fantastic choice of gifts for a loved one who enjoys Medieval themes and events. Whether that person already owns some Medieval garb or whether you are thinking about gifting that first outfit, the surprise will be fantastic. You can consider a variety of costume possibilities, and it’s also fun to include accessories.

You might want to think about a noblewoman’s gown for a daughter who is majoring in literature. Perhaps you will want to find a pirate’s costume for your own buccaneer. You can find a huge selection of crowns and hats to accompany a Renaissance costume when you search a site like PearsonsRenaissanceShoppe.com. You’ll find necklaces and tiaras for women. You’ll find dashing boots for men. You’ll even find costume choices in sizes that are appropriate for kids. Combine a costume gift for a spouse with travel brochures for popular Renaissance festivals and SCA events in the coming year. Outfit the kids with costumes, and provide them with books and movies reflecting the period. Encourage creativity, putting on a Renaissance party as a Christmas Eve season. Though the faire season has ended, the holidays are perfect for indulging a Medieval passion.