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The dances were the originally harmless tripudia of the priests, lower clergy, children, and subdeacons and took place in church.
An episcopus puerorum (children’s bishop) was elected on Innocents’ Day and dressed in pontifical robes.
That this is how the trickster figure originated can hardly be contested if we look at it from the causal and historical angle.
If we consider, for example, the daemonic features exhibited by Yahweh in the Old Testament, we shall find in them not a few reminders of the unpredictable behaviour of the trickster, of his senseless orgies of destruction and his self· imposed sufferings, together with the same gradual development into a saviour and his simultaneous humanization.It is just this transformation of thl:’ meaningless into the meaningful that reveals the trickster’s compensatory relation to the “saint.” In the early Middle Ages, this led to some strange ecclesiastical customs based on memories of the ancient saturnalia.