Last year I put my bra on outside my sweater, pulled my roommate’s orange Joe Boxers over my leggings, slapped a veil over my head, and took to the streets of St. John’s. I was joined by hundreds of other merrymakers all decked out in scary fashion, carrying hobbyhorses and Ugly Sticks (broomsticks adorned with nails and bottle caps used to make “music” when another stick is beat against it). We were marching in the Mummers Parade.
Mummering is a Newfoundland tradition whereby people dress up in disguises and go house to house seeking libations and kitchen parties. It’s now illegal — you can imagine how showing up in a stranger’s home wearing mitts on your hands and a pillowcase over your head might lead to some scary situations. Ah, we miss those simpler days. The parade is the modern solution.
But Mummering is a tame tradition compared to some of these.