Новый проект Ратоборцев — Городецкое гульбище. Август 1621

Pavel is involved in his everyday routine: washing, cooking, crafting, timing. Of course, without electricity. Many of us have experience of solving problems without microwave, gas, washing machine, central heating and sewers. But almost nobody has faced with all these problems in a complex, affecting all aspects of daily life, especially for such a long time.

Pavel is a modern man, he is used to dynamic way of life. Of course, it was quite difficult for him to get adopted to the lack of electric light, which one can turn on just pressing the button.  

At first Pavel scattered a lot of vessels, lost usefeul small items, broke tools. Now he has somewhat accomodated to these severe conditions.

So, what about lighting on the medieval farmstead? The most available, of course, is sunlight. Pavel uses this resourse as much as possible. All work concerning the farm he makes in morning and evening twilight, when he can see something outdoors, and indoors there is still pitch darkness. Pavel makes his minor work usually indoors next of the open door. He stokes his stove at the same time, so he can warm himself during working.

On the second place Pavel uses torches of splinters. The main quality of splinters is their inexhaustibility. The main shortcomings – faint and irregular light, quick burning, fire risk. Splinters are very uncertain.

A much more effective way of lighting is using an oil lamp. One can make it out almost of everything, for example, of a pot fragment and a thin straw cord. Besides, Pavel has several real oil lamps. The main problem is the fuel. One can use as a fuel: tallow, linseed, olive, sunflower or any other oil. But Pavel has only tallow and linseed oil. Both of these are important parts of his scant diet, so he can’t spend them for lighting. However, Pavel has replenished reserves of fat when he slaughtered his goat. Visceral fat, which Pavel has collected and melt down, became fuel for lamps. Pavel was very accurate in spending this goat fat and it was burnt in a lamp in one and a half month.

The fourth way of lighting is using candles. Nowadays candles are the most affordable source of emergency lighting, I’m sure that 90% of the Russian population keep at home a couple of paraffin candles in case of a blackout. Of course, Pavel uses not paraffin but wax candles. He has material for candles and makes them himself. His candles are exellent, but  it’s a painstaking job to make them, so Pavel doesn’t have enough time to do it often. He prefers to use candles like lighters, i.e. to transfer fire to make emergency lighting, because it’s very easy to light a candle even from a hardly live coal.



We can conclude that the most optimal source of light (concerning cost, quality, efficiency and effectiveness) is an oil lamp. Well, this is a useful information for reenactors. Let’s minimize at our festivals the amount of paraffin candles and replace them with authentic and economical oil lamps, if we can’t afford expensive wax candles.