There are many traditions associated with marriage. Some are very staid and formal, while others are far less so. Yet all these traditions are steeped in the mists of time, and it's not always clear where they originate. For example, why is the usual all male get-together known as a "bucks" party in Australia, and what are its origins?
Honouring the Individual?
Apparently, the original reason for a party such as this was to celebrate the "honour" of the single man before he gets married. When you look at the type of party that this involves today, it may be difficult to work out how you are honouring the individual, as much of the occasion seems to be spent in trying to humiliate him!
Be that as it may, this event always used to be held on the night before the wedding and was another way of observing the final night of freedom. Nowadays, of course, these parties tend to happen more in advance of the actual wedding and can be more than just a simple get-together in the local watering hole.
What Does the Tradition Involve?
Remember that the bucks party has a certain amount of mystique and tradition and needs to be more than just an excuse to gather a group of people together and have a drink. Firstly, the assembled crowd should be representative of the individual's journey through life to that point. They should be fellow workers, other family members, clubmates, work colleagues, school and college friends. It shouldn't be an occasion to simply reflect on life to that point, but should be a tacit celebration of all its diversity.
Nobody seems to know where the tradition of "risque" behaviour came into the mix, but it is often traditional to perform a prank on the bachelor. This affords the opportunity for endless creativity and certainly involves an element of planning behind-the-scenes.
Why a Bucks Party?
You might ask why this is called a bucks party? Evidently, this reference in Australia (which mirrors the term "stag party" in Britain) refers to the leader of a pack or suggests a more virile connotation associated with vitality and strength in the animal world. It might be associated with a horned creature revered as a God in ancient British mythology. Either way, it's a term that has evolved over the centuries and has certainly stuck in popular parlance.
Making It an Adventure
Many bucks parties these days are more than just a simple trip to the local watering hole. Often, they involve a collective trip out of town to explore fresh pastures. There's nothing more exciting for all the attendees than to hop on a bus, leave the transportation to somebody else and indulge in this most precious of traditions.