When Was The Stag Night Invented?
When was the humble stag night invented?
Well how far do you want to go back? Vikings, Henry VIII?
It's been written that the Vikings, before a wedding ceremony, would go out and party but what's new about that? Vikings always went out and partied.
In Tudor times Henry VIII would have had 6 stag parties. He practically invented stag activities, which usually included blood sports or archery, plus drinking copious amounts of mead.
Modern TimesThe 1960s was when the UK started to change. With mini skirts, sexual liberty and expressive music becoming popular, giving the late teens and early twenties more freedom than the last generation.
NOTE: In the 1960s, the average age of a groom was 22 and 20 for the bride.
So you'd have to say the modern day stag do really stemmed from the 1960s.
The stag party then started to become a customary celebration in the 1970s & 1980s, tied to the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
Back then, the average stag party would be an office party and then maybe a trip to the local boozer with a stripper for the stag.
It always included plenty of beer and in some instances incredible stag pranks, such as sticking a drunken sleeping stag on a night bus or even the Dover to Calais ferry crossing!
These pranks were sometimes problematic as the stag night was celebrated the night before the wedding!
Lavish stag weekends would be going to Amsterdam or Dublin which was by train, coach or car. Low cost airlines weren't around then for short-haul flights.
The 1990s saw the birth of the stag adventure weekend which included activities such as paintball, quad biking and karts - I used to work for a company called Acorn Activities back then and we would be booking stag groups into accommodation in the sticks of Shropshire and Herefordshire where the bar would stay open most of the night.
Remember in the 1990s, pubs shut at 11pm and clubs 1pm!
00s to NowStag weekends now are a huge mixture of just about anything. You don't just have one stag do you'll possibly have 3 or 4. These celebrations would possibly consist of 3 nights in Prague, a night in Bristol doing some activities and a trip around your local town.
I think this is because the groom possibly feels he has try and be as inclusive as possible, so if some people couldn't make the week in Ibiza and the weekend in Newquay then they might be able to make the trip around town.
NOTE: these days, the average age of a groom is 32 and 30 for the bride.
Interesting Facts about Stag & Hen Dos found from various sources including the BBC and The Times:
- In the 1970s pranks were played on industrial workers on their last day which is thought to have led onto pranks being played on the stag and hen.
- In 1976 The Times newspaper first printed the term "Hen Party" used for the modern day sense.
- Stag is an old Germanic word meaning "male animal in it's prime"
- Hen was used as a slang word for women dating back to the 1620s
- In the late 1880s the hen party meaning was "a gathering of women"