I have just learned something new, which is more evidence toward my project to prove to myself that you do, in fact, learn something new every day. While the title insinuates that you already know what a mummer is, you might not, unless you live in Philadelphia. Don’t feel bad about it! I certainly didn’t either.
“Mummer” is actually a legitimate word (“…, and in Philadelphia, there are several groups of mummers who have a mummer parade every year. This particular parade carries on a tradition dating back to when the Delaware River was being settled by Swedish and Finnish settlers. These people celebrated by banging pots and shooting guns, so now, organized mummer groups bring in the New Year in the same way. Except, I think, without the guns.
That’s about all I know. Feel free to throw any more information you have on the mummers down in the comments!
Unfortunately, although we lived in Philadelphia for a couple of years, we were never there on New Year’s Day to see this mummer parade. We always left before Christmas and got back after the new year. It’s too bad, but at least in the opinion of one writer (the source below), it doesn’t sound that great anyway.