Justified & Ancient
- May 30, 2009
The Long-Banned Tradition of Mummering in Newfoundland is Making a Comeback Resurrecting a centuries-old Christmas ritual with creepy masks, horse heads, and bras worn on the outside. BY SARAH LASKOW DECEMBER 13, 2016
One day each year, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the streets are filled with misshapen, masked figures. They are wrapped in quilts and oversized jackets, or bright boots and distinctive dresses, with undergarments worn on the outside. Their faces are obscured behind gruesome disguises, lacy veils, giant horse heads, or beneath ghost-like pillow cases. These are Newfoundland’s mummers, the latest iteration of a centuries-old tradition that has its roots in Europe but is entirely unique to this Canadian island. More than a thousand people come out to the Mummers Parade each year, to feel what it’s like to shed their normal identity for at least a few hours.
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