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Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en

GUEST,Mick Tems 31 Oct 08 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Mick Tems 31 Oct 08 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Oct 08 - 11:28 AM
sian, west wales 04 Nov 08 - 07:06 AM
Anne Lister 04 Nov 08 - 07:16 AM
Splott Man 05 Nov 08 - 03:36 AM
Anne Lister 05 Nov 08 - 04:19 AM
sian, west wales 05 Nov 08 - 09:55 AM
Splott Man 06 Nov 08 - 03:54 AM
Anne Lister 06 Nov 08 - 04:53 AM
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Subject: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: GUEST,Mick Tems
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 07:40 AM

Tonight is Nos Galan Gaeaf, Hallowe'en in Wales, where spirits would walk abroad and the population lived in fear of the Hwch Ddu Gwta, the tail-less black sow, and the Ladi Wen, the white lady (a local spectre, appearing on the lane between my village, Cross Inn, and the hamlet of Rhiwsaeson.)

Nos Galan Gaeaf means The Eve of the Start of Winter, and marked the end of the celtic year and the end of the harvest. Iolo Morganwg notes that the countryfolk would celebrate with the "fiddle and harp with the reaping party", and in Pembrokeshire that farm workers would eat a dinner called ffest yr wrach (the hag's feast.) An old Welsh custom was lighting bonfires, and the youth used see who strongest and daring by jumping through the flames.

Any more customs that I haven't mentioned?


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: GUEST,Mick Tems
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 10:46 AM

Arrghh! The witch has spirited my cookie away!


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 11:28 AM

'the youth used see who strongest and daring by jumping through the flames.'

Mick, I like to party anybody else and am willing to pretend that these fun traditions are real. But I draw the line at suggesting that it is thinkable to jump through flames.

I shudder to think about worn jeans or old cotton shirts bursting into flames while on a young human body.

Desist from repeating this supposed tradition.


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: sian, west wales
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 07:06 AM

Well, we didn't jump through any flames but we had a mighty session on the Big Experiment - our first big residential even at Harlech this past weekend. I'll be putting up some pictures on Facebook soon. Some free spirits ventured into the realm of fancy dress. A father and son played a mad fiddle/bagpipe set dressed as Grim Reapers which got people dancing and another lost soul got dressed up as a Cadi (cross-dressing, Welsh trad style) and gave us a great clogging experience.

What a laff! I'm still recovering.

The tutors were Maartin Allcock, Robin Huw Bowen, Cass Meurig, Ceri Rhys Matthews, Arfon Gwilym and Sioned Webb, with Brian McNiell as our guest tutor. He told me when the weekend finished that he had a fabulous time. I'll second that!

sian


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: Anne Lister
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 07:16 AM

When celebrating with my friend whose family has kept many old traditions from North Wales there's a strong element, while sitting around a fire (drinking something warm and alcoholic, preferably, and eating stuff cooked on or in the fire), of talking about members of the family who have died.

Jumping "through" the flames might be a bit much ... we jump OVER the flames (as we did for our wedding) after waiting for the really dangerous ones to have died down. I've had no problems jumping over the flames but I do have a small scar where an ember jumped from the fire down my cleavage when we were eating and drinking ....

Anne


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: Splott Man
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:36 AM

Too much information!


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: Anne Lister
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:19 AM

For a small fee I'll show you if you like ....!


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: sian, west wales
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 09:55 AM

That quiet "thud" we just heard was Splotty fainting away.

If anyone wants to see pix from our Hallowe'en (and days on either side of it) some are now up on Flickr .

sian


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: Splott Man
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 03:54 AM

Thud!


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan Gaeaf: The Welsh Hallowe'en
From: Anne Lister
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 04:53 AM

*administering sal volatile and a sharp slap*


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