A Newfoundland Christmas tradition that features in Up She Rises is mummering. Here’s how it’s explained to Rachel:
“You’ll have to come mummering with us,” Judy said.
She laughed. “Mummering. It’s a Christmas tradition. You disguise yourself, go round to the neighbours, put on a performance and …”
She caught my wary expression. “It’s fun, music, drinking, a bit of craic.” She turned to her husband, “Tell her Bill.”
“It’s an excuse to get hammered,” said Bill.
“It’s more than that,” chided Judy. “It’s a cultural imperative, a tradition that needs to be maintained, it’s…” She grinned. “Yeah, it’s an excuse to get hammered.”
I came across an interesting article here about how mummering is making a comeback in Newfoundland, although I don’t accept the contention that it was banned until the 1990s. How do I know ? I went mummering in the 1980s.