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

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Please use 1st class post & order by 12pm 23rd January for St. Dwynwen's Day

13 Jan

Hen Galan - Happy 'Welsh' New Year!

Posted by Becca Hemmings

Today, 13th January, is Hen Galan, a Welsh celebration for the 'old new year'. Here are some fun facts!

  • 'Hen Galan' is the Welsh for 'old new year'
  • It follows the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian.
  • It is still celebrated in Cwm Gwaun, Pembrokeshire.
  • Traditionally it was a bigger celebration than Christmas!
  • Children sing for 'Calennig'; New Year gifts of sweets, fruit and money.
  • The men celebrate with Mari Lwyd, where they chant through the village with a decorated horse’s skull.
  • When the men visit your house and you cannot recite a verse, the group of men will invite themselves (or are often welcomed) in for food and celebrations!
  • The main reason for celebrating is to bring the villagers together, and to have a good time of course!
  • You can find a traditional Hen Galan song below:
Blwyddyn Newydd dda i chi
 / A happy new year to you
Ac i bawb sydd yn y tŷ
 / And to everyone in the house
Dyma fy nymuniad i / This is my wish
Blwyddyn Newydd dda i chi
 / A happy new year to you

 

 

 

24 Nov

Welsh Baby Boy & Girl Names from The Mabinogion / Welsh Folk Tales

Posted by Becca Hemmings

These Welsh stories are known as the oldest prose in British literature and were compiled in the 12th–13th centuries by medieval Welsh storytellers. There are some beautiful Welsh names for both girls and boys listed below, but be sure to research the meaning!

Boy's Names

  • Amaethon / Amaethaon - An agricultural deity
  • Arawn - King of the otherworld
  • Avaon / Adaon - Son of Taliesin
  • Beli - Son of Mynogan
  • Bendigeidfran - A King, son of Llŷr
  • Brân - Brân the Blessed
  • Canaid - A sorcerer. It may mean "speaker of poetry"
  • Caradog - Son of Bran
  • Caswallon - Son of Beli
  • Culhwch - A hero connected with Arthur
  • Dylan - A Sea Hero
  • Efnisien / Evnissyen - Tragdic twin of Nisien
  • Efrawg - Father of Peredur
  • Elffin / Elphin - Foster father of Taliesin
  • Erbin - Father of Geraint
  • Euroswydd - Father of Nisien and Efnysien
  • Geraint - One of King Arthur's men
  • Gofannon / Govannon - A metal worker
  • Goronwy - The lover of Blodeuwedd
  • Gwern - The son of Matholwch
  • Gwyddno - Father of Elffin
  • Gwydion / Gwydyon - A magician, means "born of trees"
  • Gwynn - There are several Gwynn's in the Mabinogion
  • Gwyon - Servant of Ceridwen
  • Gilfaethwy - Son of the goddess Dôn
  • Heveydd - Rhiannon's father
  • Llefelys - Lludd's brother
  • Lleu - Meaning fair or light
  • Lludd - A king and hero
  • Llŷr - Father of Brân, Brânwen and Manawydan
  • Macsen - An emperor of Rome
  • Madog - Prince of Powys
  • Mallolwch - Married Branwen
  • Manawydan - Son of Llŷr. A skilled warrior
  • Math - A king of Gwynedd and a magician
  • Mathonwy - Math's father
  • Morfran / Afagddu - The hideous son of Ceridwen!
  • Mynogan - Father of Beli
  • Nisien / Nissyen - twin brother of Efnisien
  • Nudd - A ruler
  • Pebin - Father of Goewin
  • Peredur - The son of Efrawg
  • Pryderi - A king of Dyfed
  • Pwyl - A king of Dyfed who pursues and finally marries Rhiannon.
  • Rhonabwy - One of Madog's men
  • Taliesin - The renowned bard
  • Tegid / Tegil - Husband of Ceridwen

Girl's Names

  • Angharad - The lover of Peredur.
  • Arianrhod - The daughter of Beli Mawr, and mother of the twins
  • Blodeuwedd / Blodeudd - Lover of Goronwy. Created out of flowers
  • Branwen - Daughter of Llŷr. Means "fair raven"
  • Ceridwen - The enchantress and mother of Taliesin
  • Creirwy - The beautiful daughter of Ceridwen
  • Dôn - A Goddess
  • Goewin - Daughter of Pebin
  • Kigva - Daughter of Gwynn
  • Luned - Rescued the knight Owain.
  • Olwen - the beautiful daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden Pencawr
  • Penarddun - Wife of Llŷr, means "Most Fair"
  • Rhiannon - Means 'Great Queen'

This is a list in progress, please comment below if you know of anymore!

10 Nov

How to say I Love You in Welsh - Get Ready for St Dwywen's Day / Valentine's Day!

Posted by Becca Hemmings

Looking to learn how to say I love you in Welsh? Great! There is nothing more romantic than telling someone you love them, especially in Welsh! It rolls off the tongue so beautifully. Watch this video and start practising!

This will come in handy for St. Dwynwen's Day, the Welsh Valentine's Day - which is on 25th January each year.

 

Here are some more romantic sayings in Welsh:

  • Dw i'n dy garu di / Rwy'n dy garu di - I love you (formal / informal)
  • Cariad - Love, Darling
  • Llawer o gariad oddi wrth - Lots of love from
  • Yn Fy Nghalon Am Byth - In my Heart Forever
  • Ti a Fi Am Byth - You and Me Forever
  • Ti'n Werth y Byd - You're Worth the World
  • Cwtch - Cuddle (South)
  • Cwtsh - Cuddle (North)

Looking for some lovely Welsh gifts for your cariad? Have a look at our romantic section here.

04 Nov

How to See the Devil in The Welsh Lady's Shawl - Salem Painting

Posted by Becca Hemmings

Have you heard about the iconic Salem Painting? You may have seen it hanging in a Welsh home. It is a depiction of Welsh piety, an illustration of traditional Welsh costume and perhaps something quite sinister; a portrait of the devil himself!

Salem Welsh Lady Painting

Source - Wikipedia and http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ladylever/collections/salem.asp  

The 1908 painting by Sydney Curnow Vosper is called Salem as it is set in Capel Salem in Pentre Gwynfryn, Gwynedd (nothing to do with the witch trails of the 17th century)

The Welsh lady is Siân Owen, a real person. She was 71, a widow, and lived in an isolated farmhouse. Siân died in 1927 and is buried in Llanfair churchyard, near Harlech.

There are a few hidden meanings to spot in the painting.

  • Can you see the ghostly face in the window? Whilst the artist denied he had deliberately painted the devil - he did admit to adding this spooky character
  • The time; it is a few minutes to ten, indicating that as Siân is walking towards her family pew she is late. She has arrived during the traditional silence before the morning service begins, naughty Siân!
  • Her bright shawl is in contrast to the modest dress of the congregation. Perhaps this highlights the sin of vanity. Did she made a fashionably late entrance to show off her shawl? 
  • The Devil himself! See how to in the below diagram by Wales Online:

 Source - Wales Online