Posts Tagged ‘Galway’

The Wren Boys in Dingle, Ireland, Celebrating St. Stephen’s Day

From Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland Writers, Meredith and Win Blevins:

In Ireland, St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, is one of nine official public holidays.

In Irish, it is called Lá Fhéile Stiofán or Lá an Dreoilín, meaning the Day of the Wren or Wren’s Day. When used in this context, “wren” is often pronounced “ran”.

This name alludes to several Irish legends, some linking episodes in the life of Jesus to the wren. Although not practiced often anymore,  in certain parts of Ireland people carry either an effigy of a wren or an actual caged wren through the streets.  They travel from house to house playing music, singing and dancing.

Depending on which region of the country, they are called wrenboys and mummers. A Mummer’s Festival is held at this time every year in the village of New Inn, County Galway and Dingle in County Kerry. St. Stephen’s Day is also a popular day for visiting family members.  (Good-bye Christmas dinner leftovers!)

A popular rhyme is known to many Irish children and sung at each house visited by the mummers.  Here’s a very nice version of the song for you to enjoy, complete with chords and words!:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZI_PzRIqU0

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds…

Happy December 26th, St. Stephen’s Day, from the Crew at Authentic Ireland Travel


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All Aboard for Outta Here!

Okay, this is a true Ireland family travel tale that is terrifying in its enormity!

The spaceship, carefully depicted here, was built for an entire fleet of human families to travel together.  But one family signed on first, filled it to the brim, and the rest will soon be Irish history.
One of the biggest families in Ireland decided to move to England.  We have no idea why.  They signed on for this family mission to Mars, and apparently the excitement was too much for the family matriarch, who passed away before lift off.
The entire clan gathered in the Manchester suburb of Salford at the funeral of its leading lady, Mrs. Margaret Ward.  She’d come over from Galway with her husband, Charles, in the 1960s.  The couple then proceeded to create future spaceophiles.
The entire family was at the funeral:  15 children, 172 grandchildren (every one of whom was in attendance), 35 great-grandchildren, and 18 great-great grandchildren.
We are all in favor of family vacations, but this was really beyond our wildest dreams.  (Apparently, for Mrs.  Ward, too.)  We solemnly swear that for our next family spaceship tour, which takes off from Limerick, we’ll be ready for one and all to have a blast!

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