Music is necessary in life. If there is no dancing-singing-fun in life, then everything will look dull. And who doesn’t love to dance anyway! Some people swing their bodies with joy, while others sway their mind. Although you must have seen some such videos, in which sometimes while dancing heart attack or any other kind of problem death of the dancer happened. There have been only a few such cases. But this world has also seen a period when hundreds of people died while dancing.
That was the period of the 16th century, when seeing someone dancing and people started dancing and dancing proved to be a curse. Not for one or two people, but for hundreds of people. That was such a period, when people were seen dancing on the street-crossroads and then their dead bodies were seen. Let us try to understand what happened then, how it happened and what is the mystery behind it.
…when people started dancing like crazy
Year-1518 and place- Strasbourg of Europe. A simple lady named Frau Troffee came out of her house dancing. People thought, maybe there is some good news. But Frau was going to dance. Without stopping, without getting tired. Surprised that even that woman was dancing without any song and music. People tried to stop her, but she was not stopping.
BBC report According to it, when Frau’s dancing did not stop, people thought that she had gone mad or that she had taken too much intoxication. Some people thought he had had a stroke. She came out of the house and was dancing on the road. The crowd gathered to see him. The surprise grew even more when, like Frau, his neighbors also started dancing out of their homes.
No expression on anyone’s face. No joy, no sorrow. Eyes were closed and just dancing. There were about 35 people who did this. It turned from morning to night and the number of dancers started increasing. People were getting tired, falling, but not stopping. Some people were weak, their hearts were weak and they were gasping. Breathing had stopped and on seeing 15 people fell down and never got up again. Despite the death of 15 people, people continued to dance.
400 people died while dancing in 3 days
The whole day had passed with people dancing, but this trend continued the next day as well. After the sudden death of 15 people, the administration was worried. The number of dancers was increasing. No one was leading it. Nor was he asking anyone to dance. People were going out on the streets dancing with their hearts. Many had heart attacks and died. By the time the administration could do something, 400 people of the city had lost their lives. After three days it all calmed down. The European administration named it Dancing Plague and some historians also wrote it Dancing Death.
Witchcraft or demonic power!
No one could understand how it all started and why it happened. People also tried to find the Frau Trophy, the first woman to dance, but she could not be found. It could not be ascertained whether she went somewhere while dancing, disappeared or even died. It was a big challenge for the administration to find out the causes of this dancing plague. Some gave psychological arguments behind it, while some called it witchcraft and demonic power. In the 14th-15th century, the incident of killing women by calling them witches was common in Europe. In such a situation, the dancing plague was also described as the shadow of a witch-ghost.
What do historians have to say?
Traces of the Dancing Plague incident are still preserved in the Museum of Strasbourg. historian John Waller your book A Time to Dance, A Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518 I write about this incident,
“People were getting ready to dance one after the other. It was as if a record was being made. The family of dancing people was also scared. There was not much progress in the field of psychology, so the reasons for the incident could not be known properly. This was the period when the mental patient was not taken to the doctor, but to the exorcist.
another writer Eugene Backman his book Religion Dance in the Christian Church and in Popular Medicine I have described God Faith regarding this incident. He wrote,
“In Christianity too, there has been a practice of dancing and dancing in devotion to God. People dance for their God without any emotion, so that God is happy. Dancing Death is a form of this. People had found a way to get rid of worldly life through dance and they were doing the same.”
But the question is also…
An important question is, how did this spectacle which started suddenly stop suddenly? It seemed as if everything was already planned and happening. of the University of Edinburgh Evan Crosier Called that period the Month of Hysteria. Professor at Vanderbilt Medical College by India Times Timothy Jones It is written that in the countries of Europe, especially France, from the 14th to the 16th century, the weather was affected. Many times if there was a strong heat, the crop would have been destroyed due to drought. At the same time, many times hail fell with heavy rain and the crop was ruined.
Not only was the weather raging, people were falling prey to diseases like leprosy, syphilis and cataracts. There were deaths due to famine and disability was also increasing. In such a situation, it was believed that people were mentally disturbed. However, after the 16th century, such an incident did not come to the fore again.
Ivan Crosier claimed that this did not happen only in Europe, but also in some countries of Africa and Asia. For example, during the Madagascar transition in 1840, a similar incident came to the fore, in which people started dancing like crazy. Doctors made its antidoses, but the hard work went in vain. Eventually all of a sudden it stopped.
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