If you’re not from Philadelphia, or the tri-state area, the word mummer may hold little connection for you. But here in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, there is an event every new year’s day for which some Philadelphians prepare all year long. The annual Mummer’s Parade.
Earlier this week I was chatting with a friend and mentioned the mummer’s parade, to which said friend replied “what’s a mummer?” Sit back, put your feet up, dig out a few of those left over Christmas cookies because today, on New Year’s Day, you’ll experience a long running Philadelphia tradition.
From it’s history in Greek mythology, European pagan and Christian celebrations, mummery has been a part of Philadelphia since the days of William Penn. And while those fanciful costumes covered in feathers and sequins seem like a thing of joy, modern mummer history is marked with racism and intolerance. It’s a Philly tradition that some folks wish would disappear.
Later in this episode I’m joined by special guest Jeremy Collins from Podcasts We Listen To as we discuss the history of our home town parades, the similarities and differences.
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