Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘St. Stephen’s Day’

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

Read Full Post »

Leave a Guinness out for Santa this Christmas.  It’s Tradition!

From your Dedicated Authentic Ireland Writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

True:  In Ireland, it is tradition to leave mince pies and a bottle of Guinness out as a snack for Santa.  After all, Santa has a long journey, not much time, and so fortification seems like an excellent idea.

And, children often put out Christmas sacks instead of stockings, in the less Americanized parts of Ireland.

Christmas in Ireland lasts from Christmas Eve to the feast of the Epiphany on January 6, which is referred to as Little Christmas. Ireland’s Christmas is more religious than a time of fun.  Lighted candles are placed in windows on Christmas Eve, as a guide that Joseph and Mary might be looking for shelter. The candles are usually red in color, and decorated with sprigs of holly.

Irish women bake a seed cake for each person in the house. They also make three puddings, one for each day of the Epiphany such as Christmas, New Year’s Day and the Twelfth Night.

After the Christmas evening meal, bread and milk are left out and the door unlatched as a symbol of hospitality.

St Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, is almost as important, with football matches and meetings going on. For children, the Wren Boys Procession is their big event. Boys go from door to door with a fake wren on a stick, singing, with violins, accordions, harmonicas and horns to accompany them. The reason for the ceremony is to ask for money ‘for the starving wren’, that is, for their own pockets.

This year, join the tradition, and leave a bit of Guinness out for Santa.  We are quite sure he’ll appreciate it.

Best!  Your Crew at Authentic Ireland Travel

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: