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How Did A Hen-Night Get Its Name?

By Hussey James

A hen night is a party especially organized for the girl who is going to be married soon. The party is an opportunity for the bride-to-be to enjoy herself amidst her peer group and loved ones, as she is going to embark upon a new phase and a new period in her life. The hen party is very famous in Europe and Australia. It is a much celebrated affair there.

The hen party or the hen night gets its inspiration from the bachelor party, which is itself historically a dinner given by the bridegroom to his friends, shortly before his wedding. It is considered as a party, thrown as “a farewell to bachelor days” or “an evening of farewell to the liberty”. A hen party is basically a casual fun-filled party, given in honour of the bride-to-be, in the style that is common to that social circle.

Although the practice of giving a party in the honour of the bride-to-be goes back to centuries, in its modern form, the bachelor party may have begun during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Initially, the parties that were organized in the honour of the bride-to-be were mostly labelled as the bachelorette party. These parties often involved display of sexual freedom, such as trading intimate secrets, getting drunk etc. But now, the term is used for a wide variety of other parties that do not necessarily involve such activities.

The term “hen party” or “hen night” comes from the henna plant, which is a part of wedding traditions in North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. In these traditions, henna patterns are applied to the hands of the bride on the night before the wedding, in order to protect her from the “evil eye”. These henna patterns that are applied on hands, arms and feet not only look beautiful, but this Henna is also believed to purify the bride and thus, prevent her from being affected by the influence of any evil agents.

Besides the strip show, the hen nights have extreme music scenario, which helps them to keep the tempo of the entire party very high. The music played is of all sorts. And, the atmosphere is very high and raises the mood of the people around.

The hen night got its name also from the very hen nature that it propagates. Female gender being vibrant and bubbly in temperament, gave rise to speculations that the party should be called a hen night. It gave rise to the idea that hen nights will be eventually a point when bride-to-be can have a blast and enjoy herself.

At hen night, the bride is the queen of the event. The style and the entertainment of the party are decided by the taste and interests of the bride. Friends and the bride wear special costumes and set up a whole world around them. Beautiful locations are selected to live the whole life within these few hours. The friends express their love and best wishes for a prosperous life ahead.

Besides all these activities, it has embraced many other entertaining activities. Girls may hang out for spa and shopping. The hen night may also take the form of the hen weekend. At hen weekends, usually a hotel or a cottage is booked for few days. The girls spend the whole weekend together. They tend to experience all such things that they have never experienced, or probably may not experience in the future.

You can learn variety of hen night accessories to try on different parties to make it remarkable.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
James, Hussey "How Did A Hen-Night Get Its Name?." How Did A Hen-Night Get Its Name?. 27 Jun. 2010. 13 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
James, H (2010, June 27). How Did A Hen-Night Get Its Name?. Retrieved September 13, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
James, Hussey "How Did A Hen-Night Get Its Name?"

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