|Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram|
It is believed that mummering found its way to Newfoundland from England nearly 200 years ago. The tradition involves a group of people disguising themselves in costumes and visiting homes within their community. They will entertain their hosts by singing and dancing and perhaps telling jokes. The hosts will supply them with snacks and 'liquid refreshments' and try to guess the identities of the visitors. This is not easy as everyone has their faces covered and men are often disguised as women and women as men. This tradition was made popular in "The Mummers Song" by Newfoundland folk duo Simani in 1982. Play the 3 1/2 minute video, first aired on the CBC program 'Land and Sea', for a feel for what a visit from mummers was like for those living 'round the bay'.
And...below THIS is a link to a two minute video from last Saturday's Mummer's Parade here is St. John's.
The mummering tradition has been noticed by the US satirical new organization The Onion and featured/lampooned in a recent video. You can see that two minuted video below.
Traveling Group Of Medieval Mummers Is America's Top Pick For Holiday Entertainment
So there you have it...all you wanted to know about mummering. And a bit more. Holiday wishes to you all...whatever it is you may be celebrating this time of the year. And finally a feel-good story...the little puffin who found his way home. In a case of 'misdirection', a 6 month old puffin somehow got lost and flew from the Atlantic Ocean to downtown Montreal (mon dieu!). He was flown back (courtesy of Air Canada) to St. John's last night and will spend a couple of weeks R&R at a bird sanctuary before being released back into the 'wilds'. Now there's a happy ending. You can link to that story here.
*sniffs and wipes tear from eye*