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Mummer’s Dance & Old Christmas Day Party

The Mummer’s Dance at the Flower’s Cove Lion’s Centre kicked off on Saturday – the eve of Old Christmas Day. We decided to dress up and kick up our heels as we celebrated tradition and the joys of the holidays.

We’ve pulled out boxes of old dress-up clothes, former Halloween costume gear and lots of accessories.  Some of the greatest fun with mummering is getting ready with your friends and family, as you dig through the mixture of colorful clothing to find the perfect ensemble. We had quite the band of merry mummers!

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We were the first group of mummer’s to arrive and opened the floor. Just minutes after our arrive we were joined by a dozen or so more mysterious mummers. The DJ then played the Mummer’s Song. I don’t think there were many people in attendance that left the floor for very long. A time to be had by all! There is not doubt in my mind, the spirit of mummering is quite strong and really experiencing a true revival on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Old Christmas Day has passed and the mummer costumes are put away for another season. I encourage you all to plan with friends during Christmas 2013 to plan an event or an evening of mummering in your community.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

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The Jannies were here…

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…

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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
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