Easter Traditions / Old Customs in Wales - Pasg Hapus!
Posted by Becca Hemmings
Wales has many of its own traditions for celebrating Easter, did you know:
- Palm Sunday is known as Sul y Blodau (Sunday of Flowers) in Wales, as it is traditional to decorate and clean graves of loved ones with lots of beautiful flowers on this day.
- Y Groglith is Welsh for Good Friday.
- In Tenby it has been well documented that no one works on Good Friday, with no horse or cart (and very few people) to be seen on the streets for the whole day.
- On Good Friday, people also walked barefoot to church, so as not to "disturb the earth"
- The custom of "making Christ's bed" was also popular in Tenby. Children would gather reeds and weave it into a 'Christ' figure, which was then laid on a wooden cross and left in a quiet part of a field or pasture to rest peacefully.
- Llun y Pasg means Easter Monday in Welsh
- It is often celebrated by a procession up to the very top of a mountain or a hill before sunrise (we are very proud of these in Wales!) to watch the sun rise.
- In Llangollen, in the Vale of Clwyd, villagers used walk to the summit of Dinas Bran (a location famous for its inclusion in many medieval Welsh folk tales) to greet the sun's arrival with three somersaults.
- In other areas, a bowl of water was taken to the top of the nearest hill to catch the sun "dancing" in the reflection.
- Rogationtide was celebrated on the 5th Sunday after Easter. This was the Pagan spring fertility rites and Roman blessing of crops. Local Church officials should visit local crop farmers on this day to bless his crops
- Ascension day is on the 40th day after Easter. This is the Roman Festival honouring streams and fountains.
- On Ascension day wells were rededicated to saints in Wales and people would be wary of accidents. For example, you wouldn't wash clothes on this day as it was feared that a person would die as the clothes dried. Miners and farmers would also refuse to work through fear of mishaps!