|Most of the peasant had a few meager possessions, including benches, tools, pots and wooden bowls, cups and spoons. Many households also had a simple wooden chest to keep valuables in. Beds were not a common thing, and most slept on a sort of straw mattress on the floor. They slept in their work clothes, covered by an animal skin usually. Some houses had linen towels, woolen blankets, and livestock were also a common possession for them to own, normally chickens, cows, or a pig. If the wife in the family was not helping with the craftsmanship or the farming, she usually occupied her time with raising the children and having a small garden, called a croft. This was usually located next to the house. Some of the farmers lived in town and made the daily commute to their farms, but others lived outside of the protection of the walls on the farms. Generally, farmers did not merely subsist on the crop they grew, and could also produce a cash crop which would be sold. The money from this was used to pay their taxes and buy the necessary supplies for living.||
A chest like this one might be used by a prosperous merchant or farmer to store belongings in.
Religion was an important part of the life for the peasants, and it was taken very seriously. In fact, before the strong, tyrannical government emerged in the tenth to thirteenth with the king as its ruling figure, the church could also be considered a contending force with the king, sometimes overthrowing the king and placing a puppet of the church in command. The church had strict laws which were carefully followed, and a severe punishment was usually guaranteed if they were broken. The hierarchy of the church was most often mixed with the feudal system of the town. The bishops had great power, were usually involved in politics, and were even occasionally granted fiefs by the king or his ministers. And so, religion became a ever-present facet in the lives of the medieval world. Most villagers practiced religion by observing holidays and the Sabbath when necessary. They practiced many religious rites, such as baptisms, burial Masses, and communion, when they could afford to, that is.
Festivals and Famine:
Famines were frequent and plagues depleted the livestock. Crops
by frosts, floods, and droughts. Fields and harvests were burned when the lords had
bursts of warfare across the countryside.
Thus, the peasants life was a hard one. However, peasants of the middle ages
many holidays, both
and non-religious, which meant that the peasant worked for about 260 days
year. The life of the peasant was extremely difficult, but enjoying holidays kept