The bachelor’s party. To many a man the highlight of the wedding season, to many a groom perhaps his least favourite occasion. But none the less, a bachelor’s party forms an important part of the wedding traditions and could take on any shape or form.
Here are a few interesting facts about the event and how other countries celebrate it:
- It has been found that a bachelor-type party dates back from the 5th Century BC, where Spartans would celebrate a groom’s good fortune the night prior to the wedding with a large feast.
- The term bachelor’s party, however, only gained its origin in 1922 in a Chambers's Journal of Literature, Science and Arts, and was used to describe a “jolly good party”.
- Also referred to as the stag night, bachelor’s parties are commonly held the night before the wedding to celebrate a groom’s “last night of freedom”. However, as one can expect, and also clearly depicted in films such as The Hangover, having a bachelor’s party the night before is maybe not the best idea.
- In Australia they refer to the party as a Buck’s night.
- In some parts of Germany these parties have funny dress-up themes.
- In France the party is called the “enterrement de vie de garcon”, meaning: burial of the life of a boy.
- And in the UK, much like here in SA, the bachelor’s party is commonly more of a bachelor’s weekend. English men will often fly all the way to Amsterdam, Prague, Dublin and other nearby countries to have themselves a proper do.
- These days, it seems some bachelor parties have taken on a humiliation factor, which have left many grooms fearing the event with all they have.
A British journalist, Max Davidson, actually refers to the modern stag night as a “humiliating horror show”. In his day he says, it was just him and his best mates who enjoyed a few beers and celebrated. “In these days of testosterone-fuelled mayhem,” he writes. “The groom who is force-fed a laxative, stripped naked and handcuffed to a lamp-post in Trafalgar Square has got off lightly. Forget wedding rings and risqué speeches: many best men now regard their prime role as inflicting the maximum possible humiliation on their friend.”
That sounds a bit extreme, doesn’t it? But how many times have you seen some sorry sap wearing a diaper and begging for money at your local Spar? It goes to show the South Africans and Brits have the same idea of a bachelor’s party. The poor groom! Or poor you, if you have a bacherlor’s party coming up. The best advice we can give is to choose your best man with great care, and treat him nicely. Spoil him even. Perhaps give him that jacket of yours he’s also admired – just to be safe.Good luck!