The history of the ‘Stag Do’.
The rite of passage of becoming a ‘married adult man’ involves a send off like no other. The Stag Do, Aka, Stag Night, Stag Party, Buck’s Night or Bachelor Party. It’s a final symbolised farewell to making independent life choices and settling for a more restrictive and sensible existence with the ole Ball n Chain. Or… It’s the beginning of a beautiful journey through this crazy world with your soul mate supporting each other in every step. Potatoes potatos.
I’ve discovered that the concept of the Stag Do stems from 5th century Sparta. Just to set the scene, 1500 years ago when a boy was born in Sparta, he was washed with vino in the belief that this would make him ‘strong like Bull’. Every infant was given a medical once over by a Spartan ‘Doc’ elder to see if he was fit enough to be allowed to live. Tough love.. Being such a soft and lovely bunch and in the event that the wee man did not pass the medical, he was left at a designated place in the wild (on par with Merthyr Tydfil) for a week in a test to see if he survived, was killed by exposure or devoured by the local bitey animal folk.
The ‘300’ movie quote “Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!” suggests to me that the Stag Do would not have been a light hearted, cheeky shindig. Chances are it would have been a ‘Bash’ fitting for the crème de la crème of thirsty party animals of that time. I envisage a marriage of Prince Harold, Olly Reed, Mr Best and Gazza ilks to Loincloths and strappy pee stained sandals.
In reality the night before the nuptials the Groom to-be was thrown a giant, boisterous feast and partook in supping down copious amounts of watered down vino. In similar vain to Cardiff’s Chip Alley at 11pm on the night of a 6 Nations international, drunken behaviour was considered somewhat of a sin. Akin with Chip Alley, Sparta would never have had ladies staggering precariously balanced on high heels with a resemblance to an Umpa Lumpa with the mouth of a Docker either… Rumour has it, the Stag Party’s number one drinking game involved them all sitting around a lavish Hog Roast spectacle and each Stag Doer would randomly stand up and declare “I’m Spartacus”; if they stood up at the same time as a fellow Spartan then both guys would have to chug the rest of their watery wine from their tankard and race each other on sandaled foot around the circle and the loser would have to sup some more vino (this may not be historically correct or indeed factual in any sense). They were a wild bunch to be fair.
In a nut shell
Next time you’re on a Stag Do and drinking enough liquid to drown Flipper have an appreciation of the thousands of previous brothers who have fallen for the alluring charms of a smoking hot little Pistol. Rest assured that you are entering a select old boys club of countless members who have walked off the marital plank and dived headfirst snot-bubble crying into the abyss that is ‘Married Life.’ Nowadays the Stag Do has evolved into an event with fewer Loincloths and more Quad Bikes, Clay Pigeon Shooting and strange scantily clad curvaceous ladies rubbing their Brad Pitts against the Stag’s nose like the warmest of Eskimo greetings. Live the dream.