Forgotten pastimes that are making a comeback
This year has been a weird one. For the first time in living memory, almost everyone (apart from those noble keyworkers) have been sent home from work for weeks at a time. In many cases, people have been furloughed on almost full pay to ride out the coronavirus pandemic.
As you’d expect during a time when people have been trapped at home, many strictly digital services have enjoyed surges in use. Video conferencing applications, social media companies, online retail services, and streaming platforms have all done exceptionally well out of the period of lockdown. What’s a little more surprising is the resurgence of quite a few almost forgotten pastimes!
They say the devil makes work for idle hands. Yet, from what we’ve seen, millions of idle hands are up to more baking, knitting, and gardening than getting up to no good!
In times gone by, a popular leisure activity was baking cakes. In times even further gone by, households would often bake their own bread too. Both activities have made a serious comeback during the coronavirus lockdown.
Of course, cakes and bread are as popular as ever. However, social distancing orders have meant that popping out to buy them regularly is a lot less popular than it once was.
The lockdown has presented the perfect storm to see an explosion in baking. People have more free time on their hands, less desire to go outside as often, and still as strong a liking for baked goods as ever. What does that equal? Why, a shortage of flour and other essential baking ingredients of course!
As if that wasn’t evidence enough of a huge resurgence in the popularity of baking, the BBC’s GoodFood website reports that its recipe for banana bread is the most viewed of all its articles over the last few months!
Another old-school pastime making a comeback is knitting. It was rising in popularity before the start of this whole COVID-19 thing. Celebrities, such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Ryan Gosling, and Cameron Diaz, have made the pastime “cool” again and introduced it to a new generation via their social media accounts.
Thanks to streaming platforms like YouTube and pattern-sharing services like AllFreeKnitting.com budding young knitters have the knowledge to get creating right at their fingertips. Those getting into knitting as a hobby today aren’t satisfied with the hats, scarves, and jumpers your granny makes either. The modern knitter is using their sticks to create absolutely all sorts – from yoga mat straps to decorative toilet roll (oh, how very COVID-19!)
Believe it or not, one that is considered a grandma’s favourite game, is also making a big comeback in the 21st century. With fewer youngsters enjoying a few pints than previous generations, games have been growing in popularity since before the coronavirus struck. This old-school pastime no longer needs take place in a real-world venue. Even though many halls around the world remain shut thanks to lockdown measures, players can just go online to find virtual game, with added benefits such as free money to get them started.
Another old-school pastime that’s seen a big boom over recent months is gardening in general and more specifically, growing food. The 21st Century has seen a big shift towards environmentalism, as well as people wanting to live more healthily and with it has arrived a desire to live more ethically.
Also contributing to the growing gardening interest is ever-growing uncertainty around the world. Panic buying during the coronavirus, protests in China, Spain, Lebanon, and now the US, fears about genetically modified crops, and other concerns have also encouraged people to try their hand at producing their own food.
The UK’s Royal Horticultural Society and National Vegetable Society each report that the number of people using outside space on their property to grow produce for the first time is increasing. People are more aware than ever about the impact their decisions as a consumer have on the world and there is a huge push to live more sustainably. Is there any need to fly tomatoes in from Spain or peppers from Turkey when you can grow them yourself at home?
Finally, even jigsaw puzzles are making a big comeback. Sales in recent months have been absolutely massive. For the game’s companies, it’s like Christmas has literally come early! In fact, Ravensburger, one of the biggest manufacturers of jigsaw puzzles, has seen its usual annual sales increase by a massive 370%. Towards the end of March and beginning of April, the company was selling an average of 20 jigsaws per minute!
There are no fancy reasons why jigsaws are all the rage these days. It’s all down to the same reason why jigsaws have ever been popular – boredom. Sure, we might be living at the greatest time ever to be on mandatory lockdown, but not everyone enjoys lying in bed watching series after series on Netflix. Jigsaws provide mental stimulation, can be just as easily completed alone or with a small group of housemates or family members, and provide entertainment at home that isn’t staring at a screen for hours. They’re perfect for quarantine!
Since many people relied on being able to leave the house to enjoy their pastimes, it’s no surprise to see old-school activities like jigsaws and those listed above seeing a boom in popularity. That said, if you’d have told someone in 2010 that 2020 would see teenagers playing bingo, knitting, and doing jigsaws, they’d have probably laughed at you. They certainly wouldn’t have believed you!
The editorial unit