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Harmless historical nuts

Who wear boilerplate on their butts

Who dress up in clothes from the twelfth century

To bash on each other with sticks and debris

And make up the world's largest private army...

Harmless historical nuts.
Leslie Fish, "True Story"

The Society for Creative Anachronism is an organization dedicated to reliving The Middle Ages and The Renaissance. On any given weekend, somewhere in the world (usually several somewheres), people will come from miles around, dressed in pre-17th century costume (or an attempt thereat), and fight in armor (with rattan swords), sing period or period-style songs, fight in armor, show off their skills with a pen/loom/anvil, fight in armor, eat a medieval feast, fight in armor, watch as the king and queen bestow awards on some deserving gentle, and fight in armor. Most participants choose a time and place to be from and a name that might have belonged to someone from that time and place (but not that of a real person or fictional character); this is called the participant's "persona".

Establishing a persona may involve crafting a costume (known as 'garb'), which can be as elaborate as a person's budget and time allow, but it's a serious faux pas to nitpick another person's garb. When not in SCA garb, a person is said to be in 'modern' clothing; it's sometimes called 'mundane' garb, but that term has fallen into disfavor in recent years due to its somewhat negative and 'put-down'ish overtones.

The 'Middle Ages' as depicted by the SCA are slightly different than the real-world events, and as such are called the 'Current Middle Ages' in Society parlance. 'Current' means that while strict historical accuracy is nice, it's not always practical in a modern context; as such, allowances are made in situations where actual historical information is limited or may not be entirely compatible with modern society.

Strictly speaking, the Current Middle Ages comprise a period from approximately 600 CE to roughly 1600 CE; this allows a wide variety of personas, from many countries and walks of life. The only hard-and-fast rules are that persona names must be historically accurate (or 'period'), a persona cannot be an actual historical figure or a fictional character, and a persona's culture must have established some form of interaction with Middle Ages society.

The SCA provides examples of: