A feast is essentially a celebration of sharing that often occurs in times of bounty, when for instance a hunter, or fisherman returns home with an unusually large catch. This form of sharing also occurs in other situations of adversity or conflict as a symbol of solidarity.
As simple meal that is shared in family or communal situations is a regular occurrence that shares many of the social conventions of a feast in which the sense of the provider, leader of king, is either vague or deliberately obscured. In both cases it it a form of sharing in which generosity, debt, and reciprocal obligations are set aside as far as humanely possible, to be replaced instead with a recognition of what is common and of mutual interdependence.
What are these things we share when we partake in such a celebration? Naturally this is conversation, and pure and simple fun (as if fun were in some sense simple), but also and perhaps less obviously to our modern perception, it is a recognition of there being more, that is other values, which are important to us as human beings than a simple reciprocal barter or exchange in which we account for our mutual differences and obligations as a quantified representation of debt. That is what we do in a restaurant.
In an anthropological sense this recognition is a way of dealing with the tensions that derive from an inequality of power or riches. We seek to mend these bridges through a form of generosity and giving that recognises no unit of account - at least not directly. The more believable this generosity without any reciprocal notion of repayment is the more successful (and enjoyable) the celebration.
# FEAST is not a feast
How should we reframe the idea of a feast, and the tensions and conflicts (even contradictions) it embodies in the digital and globally interconnected world we inhabit thanks to the results of globalisation and knowledge (gossip) sharing that we have access to online?