20 Mar 2014

Life, the Universe and Hen Parties



Life, the Universe and Hen Parties

‘Hen Parties’, the very thought of their hen do can strike a feeling of sheer unadulterated excitement in the heart of any budding bride to be, with visions of a raucous night on the town with their closest lady friends and to a slightly lesser degree incelebration of their impending nuptials.  I think it’s safe to say that most of us will have seen the tell-tale of signs of a hen do at one time or another, L-plates, feather bowers, high heels, a distinct lack of inhibitions and the odd traffic cone, but what are the origins of this last hurrah for freedom? It certainly wasn’t William Wallace or even George Michael if that’s what you’re thinking, thoughFreedomis a corker of a song.

The extent of my knowledge on the genesis of hen party culture, which granted is only that which anyone can attain from a google search and aflick through Brides magazine, has led me to discover that hen dos are actually a tradition steeped in history. ‘Proto-hendo’ celebrations apparently date backcenturies; however these bygone practiceswere a much more solitary and modest affair for which a bride would spend the night alone examining the contents of her dowry, which is tantamount to doing your tax returns on new year’s eve, i.e. practical, but really rather dull.

The tradition however can even be dated back even further to the ancient Greeks; these forward thinking democrats are believed to have had three stages to a wedding, the first of which being the ‘Proaulia’. This ritual occurred before the wedding and involved the bride to be and her toga donned female troupe having the night of their lives at the Lady Boys of Ancient Athens…Sadly this isn’t true, it actually involved the bride spendingher final few days before marriage with their mother, friends and relativespreparing for the wedding withreligious ceremonies, bountiful feasts and also obligatory malestrippers, pole dancing lessons, wine tasting (likely true) and life drawingsessionsall taking place at the brides father's house. All joking aside this wasone of the few events woman were allowed to actively celebrate independently and could be said to be seed of contemporary hen parties

The semantics of the word ‘Hen’ and how it became synonymous with the modern day rite of passage can be dated back to the 17th century when the word hen was usedcolloquially for women, therefore hen + party = females only gatherings where good times were had and chins were wagged. The term took to new meanings during the ‘Swinging 60’s’, for those of you weren’t around then (me included) this was a period of sexual revolution and also saw a relaxation of social taboos in both racism and sexism. Equality was word of this particularly groovy period of our history, with women taking a stand and saying ‘Hey, why is it only men who get to have these pre-wedding festivities? We want a party and we won’t it now!’ thus the modern day hen party in all its debauched glittery glory,was born.


From their humble beginnings hen parties have become nothing short of a cultural phenomenon, and have evolved into much more than just a pre-wedding celebration, they area homage to the bride and her closest friends and family. Nevertheless whether you’re planning a dignified afternoon tea at the Ritz, or a good old fashioned kneesup down your local Revolutions, the sheer number of different activities you can partake in can be rather daunting. If you happen to be planning a hen party, or know someone who is, don’tworry because we here at the Lady Boys of Bangkok have you covered. If you want a truly memorable, remarkable and oriental fuelled hen night go check out our hen party packages at www.ladyboysofbangkok.co.uk. Come don your L plate’s brides and maids and see the single life out with a bang Thai – dy night at The Lady Boys of Bangkok (once again apologies for the pun, could not resist).