While you're flying down to an exotic stag do destination or getting drunk at your favourite bar, celebrating the last night of your friend's freedom, are you wondering why is he a stag tonight? Haven't you thought about why this lucky guy is having the time of his life before the wedding? Do you wonder where the term stag do came from?
If you didn't wonder before and we've got you curious enough now, here's the history of the term stag do. There are a couple of theories regarding the origin of this term. Read below to find out more.
Pre wedding celebrations and the stag party date back to Greece in the fifth century. In ancient Greece, in the city of Sparta, a celebratory feast was held for the man and his military comrades a day before the wedding. They would all toast to the groom-to-be as he bids goodbye to his unmarried days, but swears to continue his loyalty and allegiance to his comrades.
It's also interesting to note that in medieval England, stag referred to, not just a male deer, but any male animal. Stag is used to refer to a male animal, who is a strong and young leader of a pack. So that's how the term stag do or stag party came to refer to an event exclusively meant for males. It's the opposite with females, hen refers not only to a female chicken but any female bird. Eventually, the term hen started being used to refer to any female and that's why hen dos are events meant exclusively for females i.e. hens.
Another theory of the history of the term stag do, points to God Cernunnos of the Celtic and Pagan region. God Cernunnos was a horned and hairy beast who participated in hunting animals. He was regarded as the God of fertility, life, animals and the underworld, making him a big part of everything, including weddings, in the ancient British history. He was also known as Herne the Hunter. This could very well be one of the reasons why the celebration of a man's bachelorhood is called a stag do in UK.
It will further fascinate you to know that the last party of freedom with drinks and ladies is called a buck's party in Australia. The term stag do is used in UK, Canada and Ireland. The Americans use the term Bachelor party. Bachelor refers to an unmarried man, so it's quite apt that a bachelor party is the celebration of the unmarried man. However, UK has still stuck to its traditional term stag do. The term bachelor and bachelorette parties are gaining popularity, but the Brits are still sticking to stag dos, so choose which side of the road you want to drive on.
So next time you guys are hungover and regretting the decision of hosting a stag night, remember that this is how the men in your history did it and they knew there's nothing wrong with a night with your best lads, drinks, ladies and hungover fun!
Which theory is true and correctly responsible for giving you lads a chance to get drunk and get lap dances from the ladies, remains unclear. But now that you know you're about to carry on a tradition from the fifth century Greece, you better start planning to match the standards set by God Cernunnos, at your stag do. Get your stag drunk, dancing and having the time of his life at his stag night, that he won't remember of course, but you lads will. Just make sure he's standing straight to say his vows the next day, you don't want to get the Mrs. mad guys!
Date Posted: Thursday 20th December 2018
Author: Barry O'Neil