(redirected from Pageants)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms.


modern dramatic spectacle or procession celebrating a special occasion or an event in the history of a locality. In medieval times the word pageant had meant the wagon or the movable stage on which one scene of a mystery or miracle playmiracle play
or mystery play,
form of medieval drama that came from dramatization of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It developed from the 10th to the 16th cent., reaching its height in the 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
 was performed. The pageant was built on wheels and consisted of two rooms, the lower one being used as a dressing room and the upper used as a stage. The word also referred to the complex wooden machine-structures built for the Tudor masquemasque,
courtly form of dramatic spectacle, popular in England in the first half of the 17th cent. The masque developed from the early 16th-century disguising, or mummery, in which disguised guests bearing presents would break into a festival and then join with their hosts in a
..... Click the link for more information.
. The modern form of the pageant came into general use in England and America since the production, in 1905, of L. N. Parker's Sherborne pageant in England. Pageants include such celebrations as the Mardi Gras and annual local festivals.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term used to designate a movable stage in the medieval theater used in presenting mysteries, miracle plays, and dramatic processions.

The pageant was a large wagon consisting of two levels. On the lower level the actors changed their costumes; on the upper level, which was provided with a curtain and primitive scenery, a scene or act from a play was presented. The pageant then moved on to a new site and the same scene was played again before a new group of spectators. Another wagon appeared, on whose stage the play was continued. The scenes followed one another in strict accordance with the play’s plot.

Pageants were popular in England and in other European countries. In the early 20th century the term was applied in Great Britain and the USA to theatrical performances using a movable stage.


Gvozdev, A., and A. Piotrovskii. Istoriia evropeiskogo teatra. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931. Pages 415–62.
Parker, A. Pageants: Their Presentation and Production. London, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Start time for the pageants has been changed to noon, at the event's main stage on the south side of the Taylorville square.
Concepcion also encouraged girls to join pageants. "If you have the height, the beauty, the intellect, then go for it.
Korsinah, who doubles as Founder and President of Kingdom Lady Diplomat also said, the pageant is an avenue to disabuse the minds of those who perceive pageants as immoral platforms.
I thought that was one of the most, one of the coolest things that I could watch because I myself do pageants, so public speaking is a big thing for me.
Chloe Priestley has been entering her daughter Mia, now six, into beauty pageants since she was four years old.
"She speaks in front hundreds of people in these pageants, there aren't many six year olds who can do that on their own.
(The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2018 - 12:00am The Miss Earth beauty pageant prides itself in touting "beauty for a cause" and has long been associated with the Philippines.
Officials said where existing pageants are run, conversations with local church and community leaders are underway to "appropriately end, modify or continue these productions."
The competition portions of the two pageants differ as well.
If anything, the embrace of pageants by women wearing headscarves suggests that even while feminist choice may be exercised in choosing to wear a headscarf, it is set aside while choosing to participate in a gendered competition that judges women based on their looks.
Jeweler Hoseki, which provided the crowns used in the last two editions, again collaborated with the pageant for the 50th anniversary crown.
In a statement emailed Friday, defendants Stephanie Williams, Crown Garland and Cosmos International Pageants wrote that: "The allegations in the complaint appear to be wholly without merit and are based on misrepresentations and inaccuracies."