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What is a Stag Do?

A stag do or stag party is also known as a bachelor party in The United States or a buck party in Australia and is known by various other names throughout Europe and the rest of the world. It’s mostly European and anglicised countries who abide strongly by the stag tradition and they’ve certainly got a reputation around the world for the outrageous activities that precede them!

Quite simply, a stag do is a party which takes place over a night or a few days and involves activities, games, pranks, drunken shenanigans and humiliation of the groom to be. Of course, many stag dos involve civilised activities too, which range from calming walks round city attractions to hair-raising and adventurous trips involving river rafting, climbing, paintballing, go-karting - anything activity packed with adrenaline based thrills does nicely! In terms of the days and nights spent drinking, anything goes, ranging from dressing up in silly costumes and patrolling the streets sloshed to stripper club visits and general ill-behaviour- it’s all in the spirit of celebrating that last night of ‘freedom’ after all!


Stag dos are high-spirited celebrations of singlehood and whilst the stereotype involves plenty of smashed silliness, more and more stag dos involve genuine holidays where you can spend quality time with your best mates and friends you haven’t seen for a long time, etc. Also, stag dos are organised, usually strictly, but the groom-to-be’s friends who liaise with a stag events company in order to maximise the stag-do’s awesomeness, from accommodation to events to tickets to games and anything else - naughty or nice - that you can think of. The fact that everything is laid on for the stag just adds to the stag do’s aspect of celebrating a stress-free last night before marriage!


The history of stag/Bachelor parties

Stag parties have an illustrious history that dates back to 5th century Ancient Greece, where the Spartans would celebrate lavishly when one of their comrades was set to become married. Huge banquets would be laid on with all the standard drunken debauchery that we still expect from a stag do. Now, the essence remains much the same and this Greek export has somehow taken a firm grip in British and European culture especially, who are some of the world’s most feverous followers of the stag do. Of course, many countries around the world do also follow this tradition, more now than ever - no matter where you are, it just makes sense to throw a big party before marriage, it’s infectious!


Throughout the 1800s, stag parties grew in their momentum throughout the world and a fair few high-profile parties led to big controversies. One such party in 1896, Herbert Barnum Seely, who was the grandson of famous American politician P.T. Barnum was actually raided by police after they caught wind of a plan for nude belly dancers to perform amongst other various nefarious activities. The stag party’s humble beginnings have transformed vastly since then but have still been subject to many high-profile controversies, including a host of celeb breakups.


Paris Hilton accused boyfriend Paris Lastis of cheating at his bachelor party whilst other celebs like Nick Lachey’s relationship with Jessica Simpson was also similarly doomed by alleged claims at his bachelor party. Most people are more responsible though, and the stag do’s communal togetherness of a man’s friends makes it an invaluable social gathering that really brings people back together.


What are stag parties like in other countries?

The gist of stag parties worldwide aren’t dissimilar. Most involve outrageous activity but that’s not to say that many aren’t now trending towards holidays, where the stag party also engages in plenty of other civilised and proper activities. Alas, stag parties worldwide still mostly share that same fundamental of a good time and lots of alcohol.


It is mostly formerly European or Anglo-Saxon countries, Canada, Australia and the US which engage in stag parties. Scandinavia’s love for the stag party spans across all 4 countries - Sweden, who call it Svensexa, Norway, who call it Utdrikningslag, Denmark, who call it Polterabend and Finland, who call it Polttarit. They are generally quite strict about the groom having absolutely zero involvement in planning, hatching it as a proper surprise. With pranks and crazy shenanigans, they sure know how to celebrate a stag to its maximum potential and the results are often pretty extreme!


In Germany, the Junggesellenabschied, which means ‘farewell to bachelorhood’, involves pretty much the same thing - beer, bad behaviour and brashness. There are costumes, pranks and parties...all the main ingredients! Across the pond in France, who has named their stag-do equivalent ‘enterrement de vie de garçon’, meaning last night of freedom, go for a similar thing - it seems that us Europeans just can’t resist the dressed up silly stag do packed full of fun.


In Australia, a buck party follows the same theme, getting smashed down under with the lads! America’s take on the stag party, named a bachelor party, has been popularised in movies like The Hangover and involves more of the same with maybe a bit more glamour, though.


Notorious and popular stag Night destinations

Ask most men what the ingredients for the best stag night destination are and they’ll suggest somewhere where the drinks are cheap, the girls are pretty, and the sights are awesome day and night, and somewhere where you can roam the streets in a state without judgement!


Lots of European destinations tick the boxes for European stag parties and it just depends on what you’re looking for. For all the standard drunken shenanigans, great nightlife and great prices, Prague may well hold many people’s top spot. A pint sets you back a quid or less, there’s tons of crazy places to go and Czech people sure know how to party themselves. Budapest could be next best, Hungarian liquor is super strong though so if you’re smashing super strong shots at bars then don’t expect to last the night! Bratislava and Krakow are also very popular, offering an array of high quality beers, plenty of awesome cultural attractions and stunning scenery both day and night.


Berlin, Hamburg and Amsterdam are popular destinations too, all offering a unique take on the European stag experience. Gorgeous cities in their own right, the booze is the highest quality, the tolerance of locals to stags is high and the range of activities available is large, though these destinations do cost a little more.


Overall, it just depends on your priority! Many want a good mixture between outrageous activity and fun and more sincere days out, soaking up time with good company in good cities. Not all stag parties want to exploit cheap drink, some are looking for adventurous activities and a great deal of European destinations offer plenty, from go-karting to paintballing.


Of course, we can’t forget the UK, you really don’t need to go far and just think of how many beers you can get with money you might’ve spent on flights. Tons of UK cities offer awesome experiences for stag dos; Newcastle, Leeds, London, Cardiff, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Belfast - it’s a long list!


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