Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

Mummering/ Jannying – Keeping a Newfoundland Tradition Alive in Ottawa

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!  Since we couldn’t travel to Newfoundland this Christmas, we kept a little Newfoundland tradition alive here in Ottawa. My family of 4 got dressed up in as silly a fashion as we dared, and drove out to see my Aunt Sadie and Uncle Ray (who also hail from Newfoundland). Faces covered, rubber boots on wrong feet, home knit socks worn as mittens, coats worn backwards, some of us with fairy wings and pirate hats on (and underwear worn as hats), and pjs/ long john underwear worn on top of jeans.

For those of you not familiar with mummering (as it’s called on the east coast of Newfoundland) or jannying (as it’s called on the west coast), you go calling on friends and family during the 12 days of Christmas, dressed up, knock on the door and ask if “any mummers ‘llowed in”, do a little jig, and if folks can guess who you are, you get to take off your costume, and have a wee drink.

CBC News featured an article on the Newfoundland tradition a week ago

Mummering parades have been popping up in St. John’s recently, and the CBC show “Land and Sea” ran an episode about the tradition a few years ago, featuring “The Mummer’s Song” by the group Simani. Watch the 1983 video to understand more (a little dated, but still classic).


“Good night and good Christmas, mummers, me dears. Please God, we will see you next year.”


January 3, 2011 - Posted by | Lush Life Destinations


  1. A wunnerful grand visit from the mummers, first for the New Year, will cherish it forever.

    Comment by Sadie and Ray Simms | January 4, 2011 | Reply

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