History Of The Hen Night

As far back as Ancient Greek times evidence in history of ‘the hen night’ can be found.  At this time the days and nights leading up to the wedding were considered a rite-of-passage for the bride-to-be.  An essential part of the marriage itself, what was then known as the Proaulia involved the bride sacrificing her childhood toys, locks of her hair, and her girdle, to the virgin goddess Artemis, marking the brides departure from her protection to Aphrodite’s sphere of sexuality. Significant of the brides move from childhood to adulthood, and along with it from the care and protection of her parents to her new husband, these pre-marriage get-togethers marked the importance of this movement into a new phase of life, just in the same way they do now.

It wasn’t until the early 1800s that the term Hen party was first used, and for a long while this was connected with any gathering of women, not necessarily connected with an imminent wedding.  For instance in 1940 Eleanor Roosevelt was reported as holding a hen party for cabinet wives and  ladies of the press.

By the mid 1970s the history of the hen night started to see hen party tradition as we now know it here in the uk began to grow, but at the same time the rite-of-passage aspect slowly seemed to decline. In fact, the pre-marriage hen party was initially strongly focused on the relinquishment of work and moving into the sphere of domestic life and motherhood.  With associated sexual innuendos being pinned to the brides clothes by workplace colleagues as a means of saying farewell, so that there was regularly a strong male influence and participation involved with the initial 20th Century hen parties.

Of course now Hen parties (or quite often hen weekends) are once again a predominantly female event, but has the rite of passage aspect been lost?

Drinkers drink, and non drinkers go to the spa. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy both these things… but where has the ceremony gone?  

It feels a little like these events have just become another night out, treating ourselves to something we would quite likely treat ourselves to at any other time in our lives – lovely, but not much to do with the actual marriage process. 

So what can you do if you’re looking to create an alternative hen experience?  One with soul and meaning? In keeping with the history of the hen night

Well in this day and age sacrificing your girdle does seem a bit extreme, in fact I’m sure there’s a strong possibility that if that was the case you’d probably have to buy one especially for the occasion.  So instead you can now create your own myths, and legends with our support.  If you’re up for it I’d love to help you create a meaningful and empowering hen night/weekend that will bring memories, connection, and true celebration for you. You don’t have to follow the crowd – how about one of these alternative hen night ideas?

Both the firewalk, and the sweat lodge, can become key parts of your hen celebration, bringing friends together in a deeply connected way, and marking a movement from one phase of life to the next for the bride-to-be in a truly meaningful way that will create memories for life for all the right reasons.

We can also offer other activities such as the camp fire, or some out-and-out kick ass empowerment – we can create what feels best for you and your group, there is nothing run-of-the-mill about our hen events, everything is put together especially for you.

And of course the great thing about working with us here at Soulful Hen Nights for your hen do is that we can also bring in other aspects to create an event that will tick all the boxes for you – drinking, and spa-ing, can all have a place during our hen events if you’d like them to, or we can put a complete focus on the ceremony… just let us know what works for you.

Have I Peaked Your Interest?

If you’re thinking that you like the sound of a Hen Night With Soul why not get in touch  – the easiest way is to give a ring and let us know what you’re thinking – we’re a friendly bunch, and are happy for you to ask a few questions without feeling you have to commit.  The number is 0333 772 9692.

The great thing is we’ll put together a package especially with your group in mind – how does an all inclusive weekend in your own private house in Latvia, for 10, including a firewalk and sweat lodge, for less than £500 per head sound?