Visit Southern Wales

Visit Southern Wales Blog

Happy New Year

Llancaiach GhostHappy New Year.  No, we're not 2 months early.  Today is actually the ancient Celtic New Year or Calan Gaeaf.

The traditional festival marks the end of summer and the beginning of winter.  Like the more widely celebrated Halloween, the ancient Celts believed that this was a spooky time and that there was only a thin line between living and dying.

Families would build a big bonfire and place stones bearing their names on it.  Once the flames had died down the stones would be retrieved and if one was missing then that person would die within the next year.

They would also mark the occasion with a number of other rituals including the wearing of masks whilst children would carve out faces in turnips or swedes and place them in their windows to ward of evil spirits - not too dissimilar to today's celebrations then.

What other Celtic New Year traditions do you know of?  Please share them with us below.

Post a comment