Boogie Wonderland: Humanity’s History of Parties

Happy family celebrating with sparkler at night party outdoor - Group of people with different ages and ethnicity having fun together outside - Friendship, eve and celebration concept

It doesn’t take long on our floating wet marble called Earth to realize there’s something going on here. There’s a rhythm here on this planet; from ocean tides and their metronomic behavior to the seasons that divide our years. If you are attentive enough, you can feel the rhythm of your heart and other bodily processes throughout the day.

Over millions of years, our ancestors felt this rhythm and used it to guide our survival. See the pattern, predict the pattern, adapt to the pattern. We do it every day, all day, but how does that explain our propensity for parties?

Humans have a long tradition of parties. We’ve been fond of festivities for a while now; even the most introverted among us enjoy small parties from time to time. But how did our partying habit begin and what benefit does it have for our future? In our latest blog, we tackle those questions and more!

The Rhythm Of Our Ancestors

From toddlers to elders, almost everyone has some sort of rhythm. Even if you feel like you don’t, you can probably at least bob your head to your favorite tunes. But if you’ve ever tried to dance with your pets, you may notice that they just don’t get it as you do. What gives?

According to evolutionary psychologists, our innate sense of rhythm may have been an evolutionary advantage. Specifically, they believe it was key to creating and enriching relationships. What we call partying today may actually be part of a kind of “collective effervescence”, a term coined by the French sociologist Émile Durkheim.

It is assumed that dancing and parties actually served several roles to help ancient humans communicate. It was a courtship and social tool and could have also helped us learn to move more efficiently.

Agriculture and Its Effect On Parties

For the vast majority of human history, we were hunter-gatherers. It seems as if we spent most of our time in small groups of no more than 100 people, with most likely ranging from 30 to 60 people.

Roughly 12,000 years ago, that long-standing paradigm ended when the Agricultural Revolution began. In at least 5 separate places in the world, humans began to use agriculture, which altered the previously stable social dynamics.

Soon, humans began to gather in the hundreds and even thousands, enriching the already lively nature of humans. Religion and other cultural phenomena also began to spring up around this time, adding more significance to our rambunctious pastime.

Soon, gatherings of hundreds and thousands began to crop up, leading to the present day when tens of thousands can gather in the same place. Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage that takes place every 12 years, is estimated to have gathered a staggering 120 million people in India! While not a party per se, it is an incredible event that our ancestors likely never could have imagined.

Parties In The Modern Age

Parties in the modern age have taken on the flavor of the time with modern conveniences and technology. Now, massive televised arenas full of people mean that even millions can all take part in our ancient inclination to boogie.

One such event is the Super Bowl, the final game of the NFL season. The last Super Bowl saw about 99.9 million people viewing, meaning that nearly 100 million people all took part in this event. The World Cup final between France and Croatia had nearly 1 billion tune in over the course of the 90-minute game.

As technology improves, we may see even grander parties and events between people wanting to have a good time.

COVID: 2020’s Party Pooper

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ll probably have been affected somewhat by COVID-19. Especially in America, the virus has been a major wrench in the normal operations of life. As you can probably guess, parties and gatherings have had a rough time.

However, in true human fashion, people have adapted. Video conferencing technology like Zoom and Google Meet have connected people where physical contact isn’t possible.

With social distancing and good hygiene, people are finding that they have the ability to party together safely as well. With a little ingenuity and careful planning, we are finding ways to keep the party going.

Let Party Bowl Provide For Your Next Gathering

If you plan on continuing our ancestors’ tradition of a good time, you’ll need some supplies to make it happen. Party Bowl Rental & Event Solutions offers a wide selection of rental equipment to make your next event a smash hit!