Many Newfoundlanders grew up with mummers at Christmas. In the many rural communities around the bays of Newfoundland or in neighbourhoods of larger communities, people visited each other over the Christmas season. These visits were unique however, as people disguised themselves and their neighbours tried to identify them.
Music and dancing followed as hosts and mummers alike swung each other around the kitchen. Sometimes food and drink were offered depending on the prosperity of the times. The antics were lots of fun; everyone enjoyed mummering.
This stylized mummer I display every Christmas among the regular Christmas decorations, but it stands out. It looks somewhat like a Hallowe'en decoration. To me it signifies the flow of time from the traditions and culture of my Newfoundland ancestors and the importance of music in that culture and tradition. It is a Christmas reminder of who we are. I don't know who the artist is but I love this piece.
The video below shows the mummering tradition in a song by Simani. The Mummer's song is a Newfoundland Christmas standard. There are two videos here, an introduction and the song. If you wait after the intro, the song loads for you to play.
The mummers brought joy and fun to my ancestors in the bays, harbours and towns of Newfoundland. From my Prince Edward Island home, I wish you a joyful Christmas season with the people you love. Cheers.