Philadelphia Mummers

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Last updated 1 year ago

Social Studies
World Culture

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Philadelphia Mummers

Since 1901, the Mummers Parade has been held each New Year's Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the oldest folk festival in the United States. The Mummers Parade is not only a parade, it is a judged competition that consists of five divisions: Fancies, Wench Brigades, Comics, String Bands and Fancy Brigades. Each division includes multiple clubs that prepare elaborate costumes, performance routines, and moveable props. It takes thousands of dollars and several months to produce a Mummers Parade performance .The ultimate goal for a Mummer is to win first prize on New Year's Day.


Did you know?

Mummers’ celebrations in America date back to colonial times, when the boisterous Swedish custom of celebrating the end of the calendar year with noise making and shouting was combined with the tradition of the British mummery play. In 1790, Philadelphia became the capital of the United States, and President George Washington initiated a tradition of receiving “calls” from mummers at his mansion.


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