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Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen - Questions and Responses

             The story begins with Mary appearing to the shepherd Hans. Why was she such an appealing figure for Hans? What was her general appeal for late-medieval peasants? .
             The story begins with the Virgin Mary who appears to Shepherd Hans. The Virgin informs Hans Behem that he is one of her chosen shepherds. Mary also told Hans that the Lord was not pleased with his people. Hans was chosen to deliver the message and preach to the Lord's people by Mary. During the late-medieval time period, Mary was seen as a figure that gave peasants their rights. The peasants looked to the Virgin because she is a saint that works towards equal opportunities and rights for all God's people. .
             Question 2.
             What is the importance of Carnival for the peasant?.
             Carnival played crucial role in the life of a peasant. As Carnival came around peasants could enjoy the good parts about life and the thought of a future carnival helped them continue on with their lives. During carnival the peasants would mock the church by electing a boy as bishop and celebrating the material world. A person would dress as a donkey and say a mock mass at carnival which was very humorous to the peasants. The peasants constantly anticipate the arrival of the next carnival for it brought joy to their lives.
             What is Walpurgisnacht and what does it show about religious festivals in this period?.
             Walpurgisnacht is the feast day of St. Walburga, an 18th century Anglo-Saxon nun, celebrated on April 30th. When Walburga was buried, an oily liquid oozed from her grave this liquid was known for its healing powers. During the year of 1476, like every other year great bonfires were lit but this year was different, they were lit to drive away the witches. Not everyone has the same views on the approaching summer and the thought of witches. The feast of St. Walburga was one of the major events for the peasants.
             Why did people come and see Hans? What would motivate a peasant to participate in a pilgrimage?.

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