For many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that song can often be referred to as a provincial anthem at this time of year. A lot of native sons and daughters are away working, going to school or have made their homes in other climes but often return for that unique Christmas feeling only captured in this province … in particular, in outport Newfoundland.
Simani’s iconic Christmas song released in the eighties – ‘The Mummers Song’ – aptly describes this outport Christmas feeling. It single handedly revived a tradition that authorities tried to outlaw here because of the unsavoury acts that accompanied the gaiety. Under the cover of masks and costumes, illegal crimes were performed and it got out of hand.
Many believe ‘mummering’ or ‘janneying’ originated in England and was brought to North America, a tradition retained in Newfoundland more than any other part of Canada.
Mummers liven up a party and offer a form of socializing as participants go door to door visiting friends and neighbours.
This writer is going to buck the trend though this year and leave for western Canada to be with family. And that’s what Christmas is all about … being with family to celebrate the traditions of the season.
It’s this draw – to be with family – why Newfoundlanders and Labradorians keep coming home.
There’s an old expression – ‘You can take the boy out of the bay, but you can’t take the bay out of the boy’.
Christmas is meant for families – your immediate relatives, your community family and your family throughout the province.
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are spread around the world but the draw to return home, if only in spirit, is particularly strong at Christmas time.
Our family here at The Southern Gazette – Crystal, Maxine, Paul and myself – along with the other 14,000 plus employees with Transcontinental Media (TC Media) throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico take this time to wish each and everyone of our readers and advertisers a very Merry Christmas.
Hopefully too, your family is home or together for Christmas this year.