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

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24 Jul

Gifts for Welsh Weddings - Our Top 5 Picks

Posted by Becca Hemmings in Welsh Traditions, Welsh Weddings

Here are our top sellers for weddings, whether they are a gift, table decoration or something new!

1. Welsh Confetti

These are top of the list - they make a lovely table decoration and come in handy little drawstring bags. Choose from tiny cwtches or dragons - or a mix of both!

Click here for more! 


Welsh Slate Cheese Board2. Welsh Slate Cheese Board

Perfect wedding gift for the new couple, these boards are lovingly handmade from Snowdonian slate. A perfectly practical gift that will be used time and time again.

Click here for more!

3. Print - Calon Lan

This print will remind them of their 'Calon Lan', their honest hearts. Perfect for their new home together! Available in Red or Natural.

Click here for more

Welsh Slate Cufflinks4. Welsh Slate Cufflinks

These handsome cufflinks are ideal for the best man or the groom himself. Handcrafted by an award winning designer these are traditional with a modern twist (something old and new)

Click here for more

Welsh Love Spoon5. Love Spoons

Lovespoons have long been associated with marriage in Wales. A hopeful suitor would spend hours carving a spoon with symbolic symbols. He would present this to her father, who would decide if he was a worthy match.

 Click here for more.

17 Jan

St Dwynwen's Day - The Welsh Valentine's Day

Posted by Becca Hemmings in Welsh Traditions

Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus: What is St Dwynwen's Day?

Dydd Santes Dwynwen is the Welsh equivalent to Valentine's Day and is celebrated on 25th January every year.

The legend of Dwynwen is a very sad, shocking one. She was a beautiful Celtic princess, the prettiest of all the King of Wales's 24 daughters (Brychan Brycheiniog of Brechon also had 11 sons!) who lived during the 5th century.

Dwynwen was in deeply in love with the handsome Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had already betrothed her to another, so he refused to give them his consent. On finding out, Maelon callously abandoned her. With a broken heart, and grieved to have upset her father, Dwynwen ran to the woods and begged God to make her forget her love for Maelon.

Exhausted and aungished, Dwynwen eventually fell asleep. Whilst dreaming, an angel visited her and left a sweet smelling potion. This would erase all memories of Maelon, and his callous heart would also be cooled, but so much so that he turned to ice. Dwynwen was horrified to find her love frozen solid. She prayed again to God, who answered her prayers by granting her three wishes.

Her first wish was to have Maelon thawed and for him to forget her; her second, to have God look kindly on the hopes and dreams of true lovers whilst mending the broken hearts of the spurned; and her third was for her to never marry, but to devote the remainder of her life to God, as thanks for saving Maelon.

Dwynwen later became a nun and settled on Ynys Llanddwyn - a small island off the west coast of Anglesey in north Wales. She found a church there, remains of which can still be seen today. After her death she was declared the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers and ever since, Welsh lovers have looked to St Dwynwen for her help in courting their true love, or for forgetting a false one.

Her most well known saying is “Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness

Surprise your cariad with a Welsh card or say 'dwi'n dy garu di' (I love you) on 25th January, and don't let your heart turn to ice!

We have a wonderful Welsh Valentine collection, have a browse here.

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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