Stag Party History
Something of the history of bachelor party
The history of bachelor (stag) party is thought to have originated with a bachelor (stag) dinner that was traditional in ancient Sparta (5th century BC) where soldiers would toast each other on the eve of a friend’s wedding.
A bachelor (stag) party may involve activities beyond the usual party and social gathering ingredients (often drinking alcohol and gambling), such as going to a strip club, hiring a stripper or escort, and in some traditions more hazing - like tests and pranks at the future groom's expense, which shows the whole thing is also a rite of passage from bachelorhood (associated with an adolescent lifestyle, often in the common past of most participants, e.g. in their student years) to "more responsible" marital life.
The task of organizing a bachelor ( stag ) party is often traditionally assigned to a male sibling of the bachelor ( stag ) or to the best man. Otherwise, any (close and/or reputedly party-minded) male friend will organize it. The planned activities of a bachelor ( stag ) party are traditionally kept secret from the groom.
It has also become common for a similar party to be held for the bride-to-be. This is known as a bachelorette party or Hen party.
A tame version is the so-called Stag and Doe party, in which both the bride and groom attend.
In the United Kingdom it is now common for the party to last for more than one evening, hence the increasing prevalence of the phrase "stag weekend." A spin off has been the growth of the Stag Weekend Industry in the UK with various companies taking the "hassle" out of the weekend.
In the UK, stag weekend trips are becoming mini-holidays with the groups taking part in various day time activities as well as the expected night out on the town. Popular UK destinations include Blackpool, Brighton, Bournemouth, Sunderland, Liverpool and Edinburgh. With the rise of budget airlines, there is now a growing trend for stags to go abroad, with Krakow, Dublin and Riga topping the list, followed by Prague, Vilnius, Amsterdam, Bratislava and Antwerp.
Groups of friends attending weekends away in the UK and even into Europe with their best friend leave home on a Friday and embrace 2 days of fun. The groom who normally is called "the Stag" will have a selection of tasks to complete on the stag weekend. Group activities include paintball, kart racing, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, bungee jumping, AK-47 shooting and white water rafting.
In the United States, Las Vegas, South Beach (Miami), Chicago, and New Orleans are popular bachelor (stag) party destinations. They are also popular wedding locations. Increasingly, "destination bachelor (stag) parties" are replacing standard nights out, with Americans travelling to Montreal or Mexico. Very nice place to go to enjoy bachelor (stag) party is definitely Playa Del Carmen.
Bachelor (stag) parties in the US often entail the mass consumption of alcohol, the hiring of a stripper or prostitute, and general rowdiness toward which the bride might not have a positive reaction (especially since women are not supposed to be among the invitees). Increasingly, bachelor (stag) parties have come to symbolize the last time when the groom is truly "free" and without the influence of his new wife.
Many Buck's Nights in Australia feature a stripper and a poker tournament. The groom's mates often, after heavy drinking, subject the groom to various humiliations, sometimes in public. These often include leaving him tied naked to a pole or placing him on an airplane to a remote location. It has also been quite common to start the humiliation at the beginning of the night by dressing the buck up as a female or making him wear a "mankini".
Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver are popular bachelor (stag) party destinations due to their large number of strip clubs with "dance contact" (lap-dancing). Montreal in particular is popular for this purpose with both Canadians and Americans alike. The female equivalent of a stag party in Canada is often known as a "stagette" or "doe."
In France, the bachelor party is called "enterrement de vie de garçon" (for the groom-to-be), which literally means "(the) burial of the life as a boy" or "burial/funeral of the life as a bachelor." For women, "enterrement de vie de jeune fille" (for the bride-to-be) translated as "burial/funeral of the life as a young girl." As in English-speaking countries, such parties often feature heavy drinking and various (although gentle) humiliations, and sometimes the presence of a stripper.
The tradition is catching on in India. Pondicherry is the place to be.
In Italy the bachelor (stag) party is called "addio al celibato" (for the groom-to-be) which literally means farewell to bachelorhood. For the bride-to-be it is called "addio al nubilato".
In Russia the event is called (malchishnik) which roughly translates as boys’ party. The event for a bride-to-be is called (devichnik) or girls’ party.