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Mwynhewch y gorau o Gymru - Enjoy the very best of Wales!

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25 Jul

Our Top Five Welsh Gifts for Babies & Toddlers - Welsh Speaking & Learning

Posted by Becca Hemmings in Welsh Language

These are our top five gifts for littler Welsh learners or speakers. Each makes speaking or singing the Welsh language both fun and educational.

All have been tested on the youngest member of our team - our daughter! She is 20 months old and chief toy tester here at welshgiftshop.com.

1. Draigi, the welsh singing dragon, is by far her favourite and she particularly likes 'Ar hyd y nos.' She'll press the button and have a gentle sing and dance.

2. The abacus is also great as not only is it a great learning toy for her, but it looks really attractive! I love wooden toys (so much better for the environment than plastic) and I'm proud to have this on display at home.

3. Cwtsh (or cwtch) is her favourite book. She always asks for 'Bobo' and goes through all his emotions as he seeks out a cwtch from his mam. It's a lovely book with beautiful illustrations. 

4. These colouring pencils are great for learning her colours. She can't read yet (as only 20 months old) but likes to colour in. I'm speaking both Welsh and English with her and having the colours written on each colour is helpful for us both.

5. Jac y Do CD has all our favourite Welsh children's songs (38 in total!) Sion corn is her favourite, even in the height of summer! 

04 Jan

Calennig - Welsh New Year Celebrations

Happy New Year! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Children collecting Calennig in Llangynwyd 2013 is here! Have you collected your Calennig?

All over Wales, people give gifts, food or money on New Year's Day. It is a very ancient tradition that is still very alive today. As a little girl, my mam used to rush around the village visiting as many houses as possible to collect sweets and money. The visits had to be made before midday, so it was often a race against the clock!

Calennig is Welsh for "New Year celebration/gift," though it literally translates to "the first day of the month," deriving from the Latin 'kalends'. (The English word, "Calendar", also derives from this word) 

A Calennig is also the name of a skewered orange or apple in South and East Wales. It is normally decorated fragrant thyme and cloves. Do you or your family make these every new year?

Picture left: Children collecting Calennig in Llangynwyd

Here is a Calennig rhyme from 1950s Aberystwyth:

Dydd calan yw hi heddiw,
Rwy'n dyfod ar eich traws
I ofyn am y geiniog,
Neu grwst, a bara a chaws.
O dewch i'r drws yn siriol
Heb nesid dim o'ch gwedd;
Cyn daw dydd calan eto
Bydd llawer yn y bedd.
Today is the start of the new year,
and I have come to you to ask for
[my] money,
or bread, or pastry, and bread and cheese.
O come to [your] door
smiling without waking anyone up;
before the next arrival
of the new year many will be dead.

 

How did you celebrate the New Year? Do you have any Welsh traditions? Do you remember any?

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