At the University of Oxford is a special feast held by one of the colleges. It is often a reunion for its "old members" (alumni). The origin of the term may be connected to the traditional University graduation song, Gaudeamus.
Gaudies generally involve a celebratory formal dinner, generally in black tie and academic gowns (scarlet festal robes for doctors), and may include events such as chapel services, lectures or concerts beforehand. For reunions, the invitees are generally graduate alumni from a number of (usually two or three) consecutive matriculation years, e.g. 1972-5. Typically, Gaudies are held for each year-group on around a ten-year cycle.
These evenings are followed by a Raisin Night which is used by the junior students to thank the academic parents (usually in a ritualised fashion) for Gaudie Night. This typical happens at some point in the early winter of the first semester.
Similar traditions remain at Dundee's parent institution, the University of St Andrews, but are however incorporated into a Raisin Weekend and the term Gaudie Night is not used for the first night. St Andrews has a separate ceremony known as the Gaudie which involves a torchlight procession and singing of the Gaudeamus in memory of a student who risked his life in 1800 to save survivors of a shipping accident offshore.
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