Happy New Year…Hen Galan

Tudor Twelfth Night_wreathYou know how I like to celebrate the seasons. If you’re a Pembrokeshire girl – like me – then today’s the day for celebrating New Year. What better excuse to break open the remaining box of Christmas chocs and get together for a singsong with your neighbours? And if you’re lucky, the view through the window will be picture postcard snowscene by now.

In parts of Pembrokeshire where I grew up, children spent the day roaming miles around the valley on foot or on horseback singing old Welsh songs to their neighbours and collecting sweets or money (*calennig*) to welcome in the  New Year. We missed school, got lots of exercise in the fresh air and spent time celebrating with our community. There’s a lot to be said for that kind of education once in a while.

I can imagine all the bemused expressions. This was a celebration of the *old* New year (Hen Galan) based on the ancient Julian calendar. When the rest of the country had already adopted the Gregorian calendar here we still rang in the Julian new Year.

We always like to do things our own way in Pembrokeshire.

Cue nodding from the rest of my family.

So ……..Happy New Year.

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