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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

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.



15 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for introducing me to the Mummers traditions. And I wish the same back to you. Those are two nicely filled glasses of wine! :-)

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    1. The wine is delicious, slowly sipped by the fire!

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  2. I think that there was more joy in gatherings when people would make their own music and fun.

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    1. It didn't cost much either. You know what they say about the best things in life...

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  3. Replies
    1. Mummering or jannying, the fun was the same, wasn't it Aunt Marie?

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  4. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Mummers or no mummers!

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    1. Sad to say, no mummers. But a great Christmas just the same.

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  5. Wow...cute but frightening film. I'm left with a giant grin on my face. Lovely Christmas tree too.

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    1. Imagine letting such people in your home today. It was a tradition for that time in our history.

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  6. I wish we still did that! It would be so much fun. Perhaps I could start a tradition on my street, that would definitely scare the neighbours!

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    1. How quickly would the police be called I wonder?

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  7. That mummers movie video was the funniest thing I've seen since I went to a Buddy Wasisname and the Other fellas concert, I was roaring with laughter, especially the chap in the garage, didn't understand a word he said, brilliant!!!

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    1. I know. It is hilarious! I've seen it numerous times and still smile when I see it again. Times were simpler!

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    2. I hope your sons enjoy it, Shammickite!

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