Family & Relationships Marriage & Divorce

What Are The Traditions Behind Hen Parties?

Birth, wedding and death are the three great passages of our lives.
They each mark a great change.
Everywhere in the world, in every culture, through all the times, each of them is celebrated.
But amongst them, the wedding is perhaps the most celebrated.
It is also the only one of them that celebrates two people.
The preparation for the wedding ceremony in the old times and today was and is usually quite long.
There were and there are a number of rituals to be performed.
In the old times there was the courting, the matchmaking, the gifts, talking with the godfathers, the cooking and so on.
Today there are: choosing the right venue, talking with the caterers, making the guests list, buying the dress, having the stag and the hen parties.
In the old times the bride had a more passive role and usually had no saying over the ceremony.
Her job was mainly to be beautiful and quiet.
Today's bride is involved in most of the aspects of the wedding.
And if the groom wants a stag party, why couldn't she ask for a hen night? That's right! She can! Today we can search the origins of the hen parties in their very name.
The most common belief about the term it's that it is connected with the domestic birds we know so well, the same way "stag party" connects with the wild forest animal.
Another theory is that the name is rather connected with henna, the name of the red paint with which the bride-to-be is painted in India.
In many places of the world, through the ages, there were different kinds of parties to celebrate the separation of the bride from her girlfriends, the end of a big chapter and the beginning of an even greater one in her life.
Still, none of these parties were close to what we understand today by hen party.
It is obviously women borrowed the concept from men, which have a longer tradition in this area.
Bachelorette parties probably appeared starting with the emancipation of women in the 1960s and were strongly connected with the idea of the equality of genders.
They were still rare in the 1980's, but the idea grew.
Today there are a lot of such parties, which resemble a lot with the male equivalent.
A hen party is usually organized by the best friends of the bride.
It can be in a bar, in a restaurant, in a rented place or at home.
It is usually about having fun with friends and celebrating the "last night of freedom".
But women also gave this party some personal touches.
Hen parties very often involve fancy dress and specific games, which bachelor's parties rarely have.
Sometimes women turn this party into a day or more at a spa.
Although there is not a long tradition behind hen parties, their popularity increases every day.
Today they went well outside the English borders and brides everywhere can enjoy their last bachelorette night as well as grooms do.

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