If you live anywhere near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you’ve probably heard of a New Year’s Day tradition called The Mummers Parade. In Philly, it’s a big deal. People line the streets and tune in to the local broadcast to see the thousands of marchers who work all year to create unique costumes, music, and performances designed to welcome the new year.
The Mummer’s parade itself is one of the longest running traditions in the country. The parade began in 1900 as an official event for the city of Philadelphia, however the tradition has been going on since the 1800’s as a way to celebrate the New Year.
So what’s a mummer? Generally speaking, mummers are costumed entertainers that welcome in the New Year. Some of the earliest mummers date back to early Egypt, Rome, Greece, England, Germany, and France. The Philadelphia Mummers Parade features unique costumes, music, and pageantry. Crowds line Broad St., from South Philadelphia straight through Center City. The climax of the parade takes place at City Hall and the Pennsylvania Convention Center where the official judging takes place. Even if you aren’t local, you can stream the event which starts at 10am on New Year’s Day.
For more on the mummers, we invite you and your family to check out this article about mummers in St. John’s, Newfoundland that appeared in Faces magazine a few years ago. It will give you some additional insight into the mummer’s celebration and is a great way to make the mummers a part of your family’s new year’s tradition.