Wow. All I have to say is that I will never forget today. I truly do not believe I have ever been so surprised or thrown off guard than when I saw men dressed in crazy colored leggings walk slowly across an arena. I felt as if I was in an extra in the crowd of a medieval-based movie. There were men in long robes and brown bob wigs. Bob wigs!! I had to post pictures because it is impossible to accurately describe everything exactly how it was.
I have never seen anything like the joust in my life and I’m not sure if I will ever have the opportunity to experience it again. I hope I do because nothing will make a person laugh harder until they see men in leggings fighting with each other in an outrage over who deserved to be crowned the winner. I am mind blown that jousting is still a tradition and is taken so seriously. The Italians in Arezzo do not hold back. They go all out in celebration for the joust and it is an incredible ceremony, with men trained to throw, flip and catch large flags in an entertaining fashion. It is the Italian version of OU vs Texas, with festivities and celebration throughout the entire weekend. I really enjoyed watching the Italians cheer and celebrate over jousting just as passionately as we do over football. It reminded me that although our traditions, values, and every day habits may be different there is still much that we have in common.
Towards the end of the joust, two out of the four teams competing were neck-and-neck for the crown. When the blue and yellow team received the victory, the pink and yellow team lashed out in anger and police had to step in to prevent a fight from breaking out. The other team was so upset that when the winner’s rider was trotting down the arena, the men ran up to the horse yelling and terrified both it and it’s rider. I could not keep myself from laughing as these livid Italians dressed in the goofiest costumes I’ve ever seen hollered and lashed out in anger over a joust. I just couldn’t take them seriously. After the joust, the winning team and all of their fans ran to the cathedral to watch the crowning and celebrate their sweet victory.
Tonight was definitely one of the coolest experiences I’ve had so far and gave me a glance into what the Italians of Arezzo are passionate about and how they like to celebrate. After an interesting conversation with Professor Ducleux, I learned that what some Italians celebrate and enjoy in a town in Italy is not true for other towns. Each part has their own traditions, habits, spin on food and accents.