How long have we been doing them? And how did they get their names?
It’s a tradition most of us don’t even question. When you get married, you have a Hen or a Stag party, it’s just what’s done.
Drink, dance, laugh, and drink some more and have a good time.
But have you ever stopped to think about why it is we call them hen and stag parties?
And how long has the tradition of ‘one last time’ been a thing?
Here’s a little history lesson that explains the meaning behind the stag and hen.
Well the how long question is easy to answer… Basically, hen and stag parties are nothing new.
They’ve existed for centuries and centuries.
In fact, one of the earliest recorded ‘stag parties’ was a pre-wedding feast held in Sparta way back in the 5th Century.
So where does the term ‘hen’ come from?
The term hen probably has roots in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
And it’s been suggested that the reason we use the word ‘hen’ is due to the term ‘henna’, which is a pre-wedding tradition and custom in these cultures.
Also, according to studies in Etymology (the study of the history of words) as late as the 14th Century the word hen could be used to describe a female of any species, not just a bird.
Which means a ‘hen party’ directly translated into an ‘exclusive female party’.
So either of these reasons could be where we get the term ‘hen’ from.
What about stag?
Likewise, stag used to mean a male of any species, so ‘stag party’ directly meant ‘a male party’.
However, different countries do have slight variations on from the terms used in Ireland.
In Australia they call them hen and buck parties, while in America they refer to them as bachelorette and stag parties.
So there you have it, the history behind hen and stag parties! Long may they continue.
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