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Donnybrook Fair (1204-1855) - Raucous, Disorderly Event Held in Dublin, Ireland


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I just heard the word "Donnybrook" used for the first time (that I remember) to describe a chaotic event. I looked it up, and it turns out that the Donnybrook Fair was a multi-day, public drinking-fest held in Dublin, Ireland beginning in the year 1204, when King John (*) of England granted permission for the event - it lasted up until 1855, when it was purchased by The Committee for the Abolition of Donnybrook Fair.

I tell you, those people in the Middle Ages - they might not have had cell phones, but they sure knew how to have a good time. This fair sounds a lot like the Maryland Renaissance Festival, except it was the real thing.

(*) An interesting sidebar about King John: He was also known as "John Lackland," and in Norman French, there's a literal translation of that name - he was called Johann sanz Terre ("John without earth"). That's probably only interesting to about five people in the world, but I'm one of them.

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