Christmas In Wales
Around the world, you’re likely to find many unique traditions come Christmas time. One of the places well-known for its exciting holiday traditions is Wales. No matter if you’re looking to visit Wales this December or are merely interested in learning more about different cultures, you’ll find everything you need to know about Christmas in Wales below.
The Wales tradition known as Plygain is still alive and well throughout Wales. During Plygain, carolers sing between 3 and 6 AM on Christmas Day. This tends to make for a happy Christmas morning, as the songs of carolers awaken children as the sun begins to rise and they rush downstairs to see what presents Santa left behind. The carolers are typically men who sing three or four-part harmony carols.
One of the more intriguing traditions we’ve come across, the pagan tradition of Mari Lwyd is still alive and well in Wales. Mary Lwyd stands for “Grey Mare,” which is appropriate for this holiday. That’s because sometime around Christmas, residents of Wales would receive a loud knock on their door. Upon opening the door, they would see a man standing with a horse-skull head. The man would then challenge the homeowners to a battle of rhyming insults.
There are many foods and recipes that are unique to Wales come the holidays. Many of these recipes came from Isabella Mary Mayson, otherwise known as Mrs. Beeton. BBC has described her as “the best-known cooking writer in British history.” When browsing through Mrs. Beeton’s publications, you’re likely to find desserts that grew to become commonplace around the world, such as:
- Christmas cake
- Christmas pudding
Taffy is particularly meaningful to those who live in Wales. That’s because in the hours leading up to Plygain, the people of Wales typically put time into making taffy. To make the taffy originally, the people of Wales boiled the taffy in open fire and then dropped the hot dollops into ice water, causing it to flash-freeze. What emerged were interesting shapes and letters, which the people of Wales believed to have divine meaning.
One of the best Christmas recipes to come out of Mrs. Beeton’s book is her guide to turkey soup. She calls for two quarts of medium stock as well as the remains of a cold roast turkey. She also calls for a tablespoon of Harvey’s sauce, two ounces of rice-flour, and salt and pepper to taste. This is an excellent recipe if you are looking for a way to use the leftover meat from your Christmas dinner.
Learn More About Wales By Watching “A Child’s Christmas In Wales”
If you are looking for a look into what Christmas is like for the children of Wales, consider watching the film, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” This film dates back to 1987. It is a short watch, lasting less than an hour long. But it could be well worth your while, as it has nearly an eight-star rating on IMDB. The story follows a young boy named Thomas who listens to his grandfather tell stories about Christmases’ past.