History of bachelor parties

Bachelor party marks the end of single hood and the last evening of a man before he marries. Usually, the bachelor parties are hosted on the night before the actual wedding and are known under a variety of names – Stag night in Europe, Stag party Canada, Bull’s party in South Africa and Buck’s party in Australia.

Wondering when the bachelor parties came to be? Well, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that they date as back as the 5th century BC! According to legends, the ancient Spartans used to throw a dinner party in their friend’s honor on the night before the wedding. However, these parties were hardly what we imagine a bachelor party to be.

Perhaps the first “real” bachelor party was thrown in 1896 by the grandson of P. T. Barnum, Herbert Seeley, for his brother. According to rumours, the party went so out of hand that it was raided by the police. Jimmy Stewart’s infamous party, on the other hand, featured little people popping out of a serving dish – talk about a wild night!

The term bachelor actually means a young knight or a student with a bachelor degree. It was first mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in the 14th century, but gained its popularity during the 1920s. A Scottish publication made use of the term to describe a jolly old party – at that time, most bachelor parties included a black-tie dinner event, hosted by the groom’s father.

What we today know as a bachelor party – a wild night out, usually accompanied by strippers, drinking and some dare games – originated around the 1980s. It’s a symbol of the last day of the groom as a single man without responsibilities. It’s fairly different than your average pub night and often involves a risk element such as being stripped or tied to a lamp post, or some sort of dare drinking game – usually at the groom’s expense.

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