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Stag Ideas

The history of the ‘Stag’ Do

Rob Reaks , March 15, 2019

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The bachelor party – or Stag Do – dates back as early as the 5th century B.C. The ancient Spartans celebrated the groom’s last night as a single man in which they held a dinner and made toasts on his behalf.

In 1896, Herbert Barnum Seeley, a grandson of P. T. Barnum, threw a stag party (known as the “Awful Seeley Dinner”) for his brother at restaurant Sherry’s in New York City. The party had a dancer, nicknamed “Little Egypt“, who allegedly danced naked in desserts. The party was dissolved in the early morning by an officer. Afterwards, the Seeley family brought the police officer to the police board trial for “conduct unbecoming to an officer of the law.” At that time, that incident brought the light to the “behind closed doors” matters with bachelor parties.

P.T.Barnum and Tom Thumb

The term “bachelor”, originally meaning “a young knight-in-training”, was firstly mentioned in the 14th century to refer to an unmarried man in Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Canterbury Tales. In 1922, the term “bachelor party” was published in William Chambers‘s Journal of Literature, Science and Arts and was described as a “jolly old” party.[

In Germany, this event is called Junggesellenabschied, which literally means “bachelor farewell”. There is also a separate event that the couple celebrates together on the evening prior to their wedding, called Polterabend. At the Polterabend, the guests break old porcelain and earthenware to bring luck to the couple’s marriage. The tradition is said to go back to pre-Christian times; by noisily breaking ceramics, evil spirits – especially spirits of envy – are supposed to be driven out. In the last couple of years, Anglo-style bachelor parties have become more and more popular among bachelors. In parts of northern Germany that lack a Carnival tradition, funny costuming has become a popular part of bachelor or bachelorette parties.

Some parts of Germany have a related custom, in which a person who is not yet married by their 30th birthday, is made to dress up in an embarrassing fashion by their friends and to do silly tasks that most often include some kind of cleaning work.

In France and in many French-speaking regions such as Quebec, the bachelor party is called enterrement de vie de garçon, which literally means “(the) burial of the life as a boy” or “burial/funeral of the life as a bachelor”. For women it is enterrement de vie de jeune fille, translated as “burial/funeral of the life as a young girl/maiden”. As in English-speaking countries, such parties often feature heavy drinking and various (although gentle) humiliations, and sometimes the presence of a stripper.

Israel

In Israel, the bachelor party is called מסיבת רווקים (mesibat ravakim), literally meaning a party of single men. Such parties may feature heavy drinking and sometimes the presence of strippers, or else other recreational bonding activities undertaken together, such as paintball or an overseas trip lasting a few days.

In the United Kingdom, it is now common for the party to last for more than one evening, hence the increasing prevalence of the phrase “stag weekend”, or “stag do”. A spin-off has been the growth of the stag weekend industry in the UK with various companies taking over the preparation of the event.[c

Prague Stag Do
Praque old town

In the UK, stag weekend trips are mini-holidays with the groups taking part in various day-time activities as well as the expected night out on the town. They may involve travelling to another location in the UK or going abroad,with KrakówDublin, and Rigatopping the list, followed by PragueAmsterdamBratislava, and Budapest.

In the United States, Las Vegas is both a popular bachelor party destination and location for the wedding itself. Increasingly, “destination bachelor parties” are replacing standard nights out, with Americans traveling to MontrealQuebec or Mexico.[

Bachelor parties in the US stereotypically entail the mass consumption of alcohol, hiring a stripper, and general rowdiness toward which the bride might not have a positive reaction; in fact, the defining feature of the bachelor party is that the fiancée is not present. Increasingly, bachelor parties have come to symbolize the last time when the groom is free of the influence of his new wife/partner. Pop out cakes are sometimes associated. Canadian bachelor parties generally consist of a group of bachelors celebrating their singleness.

Niagara Falls USA
Niagara Falls

Canadian cities such as Vancouver or Niagara Falls are popular stag party destinations due to their large number of strip clubs with “dance contact” (lap dancing). Montreal in particular is popular for this purpose with both Canadians and Americans alike.

As an alternative, the best man may plan an activity in secret with friends that they feel the groom will enjoy. Many grooms-to-be have been treated to camping trips with friends, fishing trips, sporting events, video games, poker, barbecuing, and other activities

Planning a stag do? Call us on 01273 872200 or get in touch ONLINE – the fun starts HERE!

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