Random Sightings: The Banana Squad

Occasionally, we’ll be posting a few random photos shot around Stockholm that capture a bit of the city’s spirit and diversity.

Svensexa - Stockholm Party photography by  Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Photos by Lola A. Åkerström

Lola_Akinmade_Banana_Squad2

Most likely a group of friends celebrating a bachelor’s party called “Svensexa“, this banana squad was casually strolling down Drottninggatan.

A bit of history from the site aptly called Svensexa that provides tips and activity ideas for planning bachelor parties:

Although the format has varied greatly over the years, one can conclude from literature that the bachelor party has a relatively long history in Sweden. In the 1600s there were festivities with the groom and his closest friends. However the groom himself was an arranger and the whole thing was seen primarily as a farewell party for friends.

 

A slightly more sophisticated version of the bachelor party was developed in the 1800s when academic and military circles invited closest friends to celebrate upcoming feasts. The strong camaraderie in these circles was welcomed and “punishments” for the groom were initiated because he was leaving his friends for his wife. .

 

Although the word ‘sex’ in the 1800s was aimed at the dinner that was served at six o’clock, most parties pretty soon involved alcohol and the groom got helplessly drunk and simultaneously embarrassed himself as entertainment for the fest.

 

This tradition of including close friends spread quickly across the country and during the 1920s, “stag” parties were held in almost all parts of Sweden.

 

Many early stag traditions have remained but in general one can say that alcohol got competition from a range of entertainment that now span one or more days of reveling.

 

You see more gang celebration of fine dining, in hot air balloons, or at the casino rather than a wasted groom who stumbles around the town square in a rabbit costume.

 

Today, they are considerably less or more sophisticated variants of the “punishment”. Nowadays, the tradition has turned against the groom’s comrades in which they engage in various antics and surprises and play increasingly important roles.

 

The groom is “almost” as much fun as everyone else in the gang.

Author: Lola A. Åkerström

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning writer, photographer, and travel blogger, and is also the Founder/Editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm. She tweets at @LolaAkinmade.

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  • http://notaballerina.com Amanda Kendle

    Interesting! My son would love to see these guys and would think they are from the Bananas in Pyjamas TV show he loves …

    • http://www.akinmade.com Lola A. Åkerström

      Haha! They couldn’t be farther from that :)