Friday, December 09, 2005
A knock on a door anywhere during a night of Christmas might make the home home owner wonder who it could be. If the home owners peered through the window and saw a group of people dressed in strange clothes and their idenity concealed then most would never open the door. Not so in Newfoundland!The home owner would swing open the door and listen to the cry...."Any mummers allowed in?" Indeed they are allowed in!
The tradition is called mummering or janneying on the island of Newfoundland. It's a time when people will disguise themselves in old clothing, stuff themselves with pillows, men will dress as women and women will dress as men, and cover their faces with pieces of cloth or pillowcases. Usually one or more in the group will have a musical instrument such as an accordian,guitar or harmonica. The mummers bring laughter, merriment, and Christmas cheer to each home, where residents will tirelessly try to guess who is behind each clever disguise. After a few jigs, dances and drink the group continues on to the next home in the community by foot. We have written songs about it and many paintings by Newfoundland artist have help promote this great tradition. It's a tradition that i hope continues!