Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Late Reflection on St. Stephen's Day

So I'm a bit late to discover the video coverage, but I was happy to find today a video from the 1st Annual St. Stephen's Stumble, a pub crawl that celebrated the relatively unknown holiday of St. Stephen's Day, which happens to fall on the day after Christmas, December 26th.

This holiday is observed and celebrated more in Ireland and other parts of Europe. It's the feast day of St. Stephen, who is known as the first Christian martyr. The celebratory tradition has died down but consisted of groups of people carrying a caged wren (a type of bird) from house to house, singing and dancing as a performance. These people are called Wrenboys or Mummers (and here I thought Mummers started in Philadelphia).

Anyway, an Irish pub in New Haven called Anna Liffey's took this holiday, and like any other American person does with an Irish tradition, turned it into an all-day drinking event.

The pub crawl was led between pubs by a bagpiper, which was largely my attraction to going in the first place. When else do you get a chance to walk around a city with a large group of people in daylight with a buzz, led by a bagpiper? The turned heads were rather abundant that day.

Here is the video coverage. The strapping young lad in the tan coat that you may notice walking (NOT stumbling) is yours can also see me in the "Ole, Ole, Ole" chant on the right, which was one of about 300 Ole chants we did that day...

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