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Wearing costumes to hide your identity and visiting neighbours during the twelve days of Christmas is a vital Newfoundland and Labrador tradition that has survived for 500 years. The practice has declined in recent years, says Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage development officer, Dale Jarvis, but the annual St. John's Mummers Festival aims to revive the many different traditions.


Photos by Darren Calabrese for The Globe and Mail

Dorothy Fowler poses in St. John's.

Historically, Mummer's Christmas visits usually resulted in impromptu parties, with music and drink.

Kimberley Street poses in St. John's with her baby carriage.

Christine Legrow wears a lampshade and doily on her head.

Sarah Ferguson and her dog Frank pose in St. John's.

Marie Barrett poses with the Newfoundland flag.

Sylvain Rolando works male and female underwear and rain pants into his costume.

Jonathan Caines poses in St. John's.

Hope (last name withheld) poses in a park behind traditionally painted St. John's houses.

Lynn Healey uses work gloves, a Santa tie and a candy cane in her costume.

Penny Patten plays a colourful accordion.

Marcia Lawson adds colourful streamers to her costume.

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