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Boys to


Gadarn – the Horned God of Fertility. Apparently, it is this mythological creature that is the inspiration for the modern-day Stag Do. Also known as Bachelor, Bulls and Bucks parties, Stag Nights can be traced back to the 5th century BC when Spartans are recorded to have dined and made a toast to the Groom on his last night as a single man. The modern celebration, referred to as enterrement de vie de garçon in French, literally the ‘burial of life as a boy’, marks a rite of passage from


A men


ncient theology introduces a God who is half man, half stag; the Celts called him Cernunnous, while the Druids knew him as Hu


by Nicola Hobbs


Much like male deer gathering together assertively during mating season, a Stag Party provides the chance for men to unite as brothers, now an important part of the pre-marital ritual.


adolescent raucousness to responsible married man.


It is traditional for the Best Man to organise the Stag Party – usually complete with practical jokes at the Groom’s expense. We’ve all heard the stories about the Groom being tied to a lamp post… having his eyebrows shaved off… having to wear a ‘mankini’… so it’s a good idea to choose your Best Man wisely. Last year’s royal Stag Party, organised by Prince Harry, was a far more low-key affair: a £2,500 celebration at a country house in Norfolk.


While 39% of Stags and their heards go abroad to celebrate, there are plenty of cheaper activities you can do to embrace the boy in the


Groom. Paintballing, Go-Karting and Clay Pigeon Shooting are among the most popular ways to celebrate a single’s man passage into wedded bliss. More adventurous Stags might prefer Quad Biking, Zorbing or Target Shooting. Then there’s Falconry, Circus Workshops and Spy Academies for a more unique experience. If none of these appeal, Casinos, Comedies and Kissograms are a failsafe way to mark the occasion with fun and games. From the Horned God of Fertility, to the high jinx and partying escapes of modern day Stags, a celebration in the Groom’s honour is rooted in history and is set to remain a fundamental tradition embracing boyhood, manhood and brotherhood. ■


SUSSEX LIVING March 2012


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