Growing up we always referred to concept of mummering as jannying. I am not sure how it came about that we adopted the term “Mummer”. It may have had something to do with Simini’s iconic tune, “The Mummer’s Song” produced in 1984. It became a mega-hit and helped revive a dying tradition. One can hear the tune and watch a video of mummering that has more than 200,000 views.
Musicians and local artists have significant influence on popular culture and the way in which communities consume culture and local lore. Although the tradition of mummering is not as vibrant as it once was, I think it is one of those traditions that is here to stay in rural Newfoundland & Labrador, especially on the Great Northern Peninsula.
This Christmas we saw the jannies going around visiting at Christmas night! I have also seen multiple postings on Facebook highlighting janny visits, videos of people stepping ‘er down and enjoying the tradition. We have the opportunity to utilize the social media to share and encourage more active participation in a tradition that was once common for all ruralites to do during the holidays.
The jannies were here last night…
If you are interested in jannying this Christmas, there is still time! Tonight marks a couple of mummer’s dances at Thirsty’s Lounge and Flower’s Cove Lion’s Centre. As well, there are still two nights left to Christmas – so get your bed sheets, rubber boots and pillow cases ready! Keep up the tradition right up to Old Christmas Night.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
- 3rd Annual Mummer’s Walk Continues to Break Local Record (liveruralnl.com)
- It’s not Christmas without the Mummers Show (cbc.ca)
- My Newfoundland & Labrador themed Christmas Tree (liveruralnl.com)
- 3rd Annual Mummer`s Walk – December 28th (liveruralnl.com)