The REDuation ceremony celebrates the progression from Pink (under 50) to Red (over 50) years old.
- The Reduate can wear a pink hat which is then passed to the next youngest Pinkie to represent passing on of knowledge, that Pinkie can use that hat for her REDuation and so on.
- The old pink hat can be burned or put away in a hat box, to symbolise that it is not needed any more.
- The REDuate dresses in purple clothing but with a lavender shawl/cloak/fabric over the top, so that she can remove it as part of the ceremony
- The Warning poem can be read out, and items given to the REDuate to represent the lines of the poem
The member starts off wearing her pink hat and standing on a pink rug/square, with a new red hat being held on a cushion by the Queen who has a red rug/square in front of her. The chapter members stand on either side of the room and the Reduate starts walking towards the Queen. Carrying a basket or tote bag. As the passes the members, they hand her items from the Warning poem, such as brandy, sausages, slippers and a bunch of flowers (preferably picked from someone’s garden). At the end, the Vice Queen presents her with a copy of the Warning poem and takes the pink hat from her head. The Queen then places her new Red hat onto her head, and presents her with a certificate of REDuation.
The member, dressed in pink hat, stands on a pink rug and is given a pink gift bag with a symbol of her first 50 years of life (a baby bottle, nappy, doll, training bra, condom etc.). She walks towards the Queen, discarding the items from the bag as she goes. When she gets to the Queen, the Queen says: “Are you ready to leave behind your ‘Pinkness’ and move forward to embrace and uphold the spirit of the Society?” When the member says yes, the Queen removes her pink hat and replaces it with a red hat. She is given a red gift bag with symbols of her journey to Red hattedness (tums, incontinence pads, walking stick, license for picking flowers, booklet on learning to spit etc.). The Hatter pledge/vows are read.
Stepping stones are made using fabric/paper squares that start light pink and become red. The member walks on the stones towards the red. As she goes, the other members hand her artificial flowers starting with light pink and becoming darker until she reaches the end and received a red flower. The Queen ties the bouquet together with red and and purple ribbons, removes her pink hat and replaces it with a red hat. The pledges/vows are made
The member arrives wearing her pink hat & lavender. She walks through the front garden past symbols of her youth (pink accessories). She enters the house and is directed to where she can get changed into her purple clothing and red hat and walks to the back garden where there are symbols of her old age (red accessories, incontinence pads, glasses etc.). Each member holds a pink balloon which is popped to symbolise popping her pink bubble.
The members stand facing each other in a column leading towards the Queen. The REDuate holds a lit pink candle and the Queen holds a lit red candle. The hatters hold their hats to form an archway for the REDuate to walk under towards the Queen. As she passes under them, they replace their hats and turn to face the Queen. When she has arrived before the Queen, the Queen says: “Sisters, to represent the death of her old life in a PINK Hat, please extinguish the flame of your sister’s PINK candle”. The members blow out the candle, then chant “PINK be gone, PINK be gone, this girl wants a Red Hat on!”
The Queen hands her the lit red candle will say:
“Your sisters have put out your pink candle’s flame
And invite you to join in the Red-Hatter’s fame
In its place we offer this candle of red
As we ready to place a new hat on your head.
So gather around, my sisters fair
We haven’t got but a minute to spare
This princess has made her last pink bow
And she’s aching to be a Red Hat now!
No longer is 50 a birthday to dread
But cause for a celebration instead
So gather around and join in a wheel
And ask that our sister please kneel
As I carefully lift her pink hat from her head
To replace it today with a new one in red
From this day forward she’ll wear purple to say
She’s ready to come out with the big girls and play!”
The sisters all shout: “PINK is gone, PINK is gone, now a hat of Red is on! YAY!!!!”