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Reenacting the Past

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One of the oldest forms of storytelling is that of re-enactment, donning the costumes of the story's subjects, miming their actions, performing a narrative before a live audience. Whether organized by history enthusiasts, government offices, religious groups, or just for fun, military battles and religious events are the most popular subjects for re-enactment. Collected here are recent performances from around the world, covering a few events from the past 2,000 years. [36 photos]

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Actors wearing military uniforms of the Hungarian and Austrian Hapsburg dynasty reenact the first stage of the 1849 Battle of Isaszeg, Hungary, on April 6, 2013 during the Isaszeg Historical Days event. The battle was part of the Spring Campaign of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 between the Austrian Empire and the Hungarian Revolutionary Army. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images)
Actors wearing military uniforms of the Hungarian and Austrian Hapsburg dynasty reenact the first stage of the 1849 Battle of Isaszeg, Hungary, on April 6, 2013 during the Isaszeg Historical Days event. The battle was part of the Spring Campaign of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 between the Austrian Empire and the Hungarian Revolutionary Army. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images)
An 18th century Maltese militia re-enactor of the Historical Reenactment Group of Malta fires his musket at the Napoleonic French enemy during a multi-period reenactment event in the grounds of Verdala Palace outside Valletta, on September 23, 2012. (Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi) #
A man dressed as a samurai warrior screams while charging enemy fighters during a reenactment of the Battle of Kawanakajima, which was fought in the mid 16th century, in Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, Japan, on April 21, 2013. Every April participants hold a reenactment to mark the harshest of a series of five battles between two famous warlords, Kenshin Uesugi and Shingen Takeda. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa) #
Men dressed as samurai warriors finish off an enemy during a reenactment of the Battle of Kawanakajima, which was fought in the mid 16th century, in Fuefuki, Japan, on April 21, 2013. The event reflects growing interest among Japanese in feudal-era leaders. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa) #
A matchlock gun preservation society member shoots a firearm as he and others participate in a reenactment of the Battle of Kawanakajima, in Fuefuki, Japan, on April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa) #
A man takes part in a historical reenactment in the forecourt of the Maison Carree as part of the third edition of the Roman Games in Nimes, southern France, on April 28, 2012. The priests of the Imperial cult performed a ceremony in honor of Emperor Hadrian passing through Nîmes. (Pascal Guyot/AFP/GettyImages) #
Groups of people costumed as ancient Romans parade near the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and Roman Forum to celebrate the festivities of Christmas of Rome, in Rome, Italy, on April 21, 2013. Legend says that Rome was founded by Romulus in 753 BC in an area surrounded by seven hills. Every year the city celebrates the Birth of Rome with parades and fighting in costume, reenacting the deeds of the great ancient Roman Empire. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) #
Actors dressed as knights stage a medieval jousting competition at Eltham Palace on June 16, 2013 in Eltham, England. The "Grand Medieval Joust" event is held at Eltham Palace, an English Heritage property which was the childhood home of King Henry VIII. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
A man dressed as a World War II soldier walks with a bicycle along Juno Beach in Courseulles-sur-Mer, on June 6, 2013, during the commemoration of the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy. (Thomas Bregardis/AFP/Getty Images) #
Revolutionary War reenactors stand at attention during a reenactment of Washington crossing the Delaware River, on December 25, 2012, in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek) #
A replica of a Kuomintang aircraft explodes during a battle re-enactment of the Defense of Yan'an at a tourist attraction in Yan'an, in northwestern China's Shaanxi province, on October 19, 2012. Yan'an was the 1940s communist base where Mao traveled, retreating from Kuomintang forces and regrouping to plot a revolution that brought the Communists into power in 1949. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #
An actor dressed as a Japanese military soldier jumps and kicks a man acting as a villager during a performance at the Eighth Route Army Culture Park, one of two theme parks, in Wuxiang county, north China's Shanxi province, on October 20, 2012. Visitors to the theme parks pay to participate in a dress up action play with performers, where they can choose to role play as soldiers from the Japanese army or the Eighth Route Army, with professional sound and lighting effects. A live-action show and the parks, located near the former headquarters of the Eighth Route Army, a military group controlled by the Communist Party of China during the Chinese Civil War and the Second Sino-Japanese War, cost the Wuxiang government around 500 million RMB ($80 million) to construct. (Reuters/Jason Lee) #
Actors wearing military uniforms of the Hungarian and Austrian Hapsburg dynasty, reenact the first stage of the 1849 Battle of Isaszeg, Hungary, on April 6, 2013. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images) #
Masked men ride in a morning procession as part of the "Cavalhadas" festival in Pirenopolis, Brazil, on May 19, 2013. The popular festival is a tradition that was introduced in the 1800's by a Portuguese priest to mark the the ascension of Christ. The 3-day festival reenacts the Christian knights' medieval defeat of the Moors. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres) #
Performers wearing World War Two Nazi German and Soviet Red Army uniforms wait for the start of a reenactment of the 1945 battle of Berlin as part of the 7. Biennale in Berlin, on April 29, 2012. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
History enthusiasts dressed as soldiers fight during the reenactment of Napoleon's famous battle of Austerlitz near the southern Moravian town of Slavkov, on December 1, 2012. (Reuters/David W Cerny) #
Actors take part in a reenactment of the Battle of Austerlitz to mark its 207th anniversary near the city of Brno, Czech Republic, on December 1, 2012. The Battle of Austerlitz is widely considered to be Napoleon's greatest victory, as he destroyed the troops of the Third Coalition made up of Russian and Austrian forces, giving France a victory and prompting other changes in the European diplomatic area. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
Actors and actresses from Iere Theatre Productions play the roles of indentured East Indian laborers and British constabulary police (right), during a reenactment of the first arrival of East Indians to Trinidad and Tobago organized by the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration to mark Indian Arrival Day, on Nelson Island in the Gulf of Paria off the west coast of Trinidad, on May 25, 2013. Indian Arrival Day is a national holiday and is celebrated on May 30 every year. (Reuters/Andrea De Silva) #
An archer wearing a samurai costume riding on horseback shoots an arrow at a target in Sumida Park in Tokyo, on April 20, 2013. The archer was taking part in a Yabusame, or archery on horseback during a demonstration of the samurai martial arts. (Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man dressed as a Austro-Hungarian soldier poses for a picture during a reenactment of a battle in World War One at a Military History festival organized in Fundata village, 210 km (129 miles) northwest of Bucharest, on June 15, 2013. (Reuters/Radu Sigheti) #
History enthusiasts sit in a tent prior a reenactment of the Battle of Austerlitz, near the city of Brno, Czech Republic, on December 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
Children take part in a mock military parade at an amusement park in Pyongyang to mark International Children's Day, in this photo taken by Kyodo, on June 1, 2013. (Reuters/Kyodo) #
Members of the Battlefront reenactment group playing the part of Second World War British soldiers take part in their Sicily 1943 commemoration at Targa Gap Battery in Mosta, outside Valletta, on June 9, 2013. Malta's strategic importance played an important role in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily by the Allies in July 1943. (Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi) #
Actors take part in a reenactment of the "Via Crucis" (Way of the Cross), which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, during the Orthodox Church's Good Friday celebrations in Bucharest, on May 3, 2013. (Reuters/Bogdan Cristel) #
Portraying the part of Satan, inmate Cesar Rivera Aguilar participates in a reenactment of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday at the Reclusorio Oriente prison in Mexico City, on March 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #
A penintent is nailed to a cross during the reenactment of crucifixion on Good Friday in the village of San Juan, San Fernando City, north of Manila, Philippines, on March 29, 2013. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Armstrong 17.72 inch muzzle-loading 100-ton gun is fired during a historical reenactment at the Fort Rinella coastal battery in Kalkara, outside Valletta, on May 5, 2013. Fort Rinella was built by the British Royal Engineers in 1878 as part of a set of four equally designed coastal batteries in Gibraltar and Malta. Each fort was armed with a single 100-ton gun, none of which were ever fired in anger. (Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi) #
Shiite Muslims re-enact the seventh century battle of Karbala during the festival of Ashoura in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, on November 30, 2012. The festival of Ashoura commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala, Iraq, in the year 680 A.D. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim) #
Shiite Muslims re-enact the seventh century battle of Karbala during the festival of Ashoura in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, on November 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim) #
Reenactors dressed as British soldiers fire their rifles during the 235th anniversary of the Revolutionary War's Battle of Monmouth, on June 16, 2013, in Manalapan, New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) #
Cambodian students re-enact torture executed by the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror in the 1970s to mark the annual "Day of Anger" at Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge "Killing Field" dotted with mass graves, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on May 20, 2013. Cambodian Buddhist monks, nuns, civil servants, students attend the annual "Day of Anger" events to remember the atrocities and killings committed under the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith) #
People dressed in the historic uniforms of the Imperial Russian and French army take part in a re-enactment of the 1812 Battle of Berezina, to mark the 200th anniversary of the battle, near the village of Bryli, some 115 km (71 miles) east of Minsk, on November 24, 2012. The battle between the attacking Imperial Russian army and Napoleon's retreating army ended in a victory for Russia and heavy losses for the French. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko) #
Performers acting as civilians scuffle with performers wearing World War Two Soviet Red Army uniforms during a re-enactment of the 1945 battle of Berlin as part of the 7. Biennale in Berlin, on April 29, 2012. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
Members of historical reenactment groups, assuming the role of Saxon and Norman soldiers, perform the annual reenactment of the Battle of Hastings at Battle Abbey, on October 14, 2012 in Battle, England. One thousand and sixty six Saxon and Norman soldiers from reenactment groups across Europe will aim to faithfully recreate the Battle of Hastings in 1066 which saw the death of King Harold. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
Actors portraying Norman soldiers receive a briefing before the annual reenactment of the Battle of Hastings at Battle Abbey in Battle, England, on October 13, 2012. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
Members of historical reenactment groups walk past a row of portable toilets prior to the annual reenactment of the Battle of Hastings in Battle, England, on October 14, 2012. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

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