Chivarees were (or are) a type of traditional hazing/practical joke which were played most often on newlywed couples. It was an event intended to be all in good fun, however at times they were quite outlandish and got out of hand.
The intent of the event was to gather a crowd from the community and proceed to the home of the newlyweds, and to make noise using things such as pots and pans to make as much noise as possible in an attempt to disturb the new couple in bed.
One such example appeared in an undated excerpt from The Guardian, which read in part that "the report of guns, blowing of horns and other noise producing instruments on two successive evenings this week indicated that some very interesting social events were taking place in the surrounding settlements..."
Written reference to the Chivarees is not easy to find, however, such a reference appeared in The Guardian in 1898, in an edition announcing the wedding of Mr. John R. Drake of Pownal to Ms. Janie Drake of Cornwall. In the description of their wedding, the paper mentions that "a crowd of the Cornwall youths added to the interest by a rousing chivaree which, however, was conducted in a very orderly and respectable manner".
Bonnie Townshend writes that "the last one that I remember that happened in Fortune was when Virginia and Everett Aitken were married on 14 April 1973".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Aitken, Bonnie. The Road To Fortune. 680. Print.
- ↑ Drake, Linda. The Descendants of William Henry Drake and Margaret Docherty. The Island Register. Web. 31 January 2017.