Whatever you call it
Bachelor parties, buck parties, stag party, stag night, stag do, or stag weekend. It doesn't matter if you are located in the United States, Britain, Canada, or Ireland; you might have memories of some over-the-top celebration held in honour of a single man, just before his wedding. Movies like “The Hangover” have officially immortalised these celebrations as exaggerated events where the soon-to-be husband and his friends engage into a savage party with all the elements to cancel a wedding if the bride finds out about it. Nevertheless, these parties didn't start as the craziness that Hollywood studios have been picturing for years: the event has its own origin, and the United Kingdom's men have been especially prone to organise these parties, almost as part of a longtime tradition of the country. So, here's the true story behind the stag do!
Spoiler alert: there are not incidents with Mike Tyson and/or tigers in this recap
Stag do parties are truly an old tradition that can apparently be traced back all the way to the fifth century, when military comrades of Sparta would feast and toast one another on the eve of a friend’s wedding, hence the separation of genres in this celebration, and the creation of the term “last night of freedom”. In Britain, there are many theories behind the true meaning of the word “stag", as the reference to a male deer –or male animal in general–, could be a symbol of masculinity and virility.
Furthermore, Celtic and pagan religion –rooted in the British Isles–, have a story of worshipping many ancient gods; such as Cernunnos, a large hairy beast with a beard and horns, recognised as the god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. Such a creature was obviously adopted by ancient Brits in many of their old customs, being also part of the marriage rituals. Later, it became associated with masculinity, and now is deeply linked to the ancient roots of the stag do.
So whatever you call them, a bachelor party is firmly a tradition that's here to stay.