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Christmas Eve

In many parts of Wales, Christmas meant rising early (or staying up overnight) to attend the plygain service at the parish church. The hour for the appears to have varied between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., the latter becoming more common as time went on. To await the service, young people, in particular, would pass away the time in one way or another.

In some country districts they would gather at certain farmhouses to make cyflaith (treacle toffee) and spend the night merrily, decorating the houses with holly and mistletoe, as at Marford, Flintshire, in the 1830's. According to Mrs. Thrale's journal of a tour in 1774 the inhabitants of Dyffryn Clwyd kindled their lights at two in the morning and sang and danced to the harp until the plygain.

In other districts, especially country towns, the time was spent playing in the streets. In Tenby, Pembrokeshire, for example, crowds carried torches, shouted verses and blew cow-horns, before finally forming a torch procession in which the young men of the town escorted the rector from his house to the church. A similar procession is recorded in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, and also in Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire, where candles were used instead of torches.

https://museum.wales/articles/2014-06-14/Christmas-customs-Plygain-Singing/

2 Answers

+2 votes
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A beautiful carol, and beautifully sung. It brought tears to my eyes. :'(

For the sake of this very morning
As a little baby, a little baby
Was born the root of Jesse
As a little baby;
The Strong one who came from Bosra,
The Lawmaker of old on Sinai,
The Redemption to be had on Calvary
As a little baby, a little Baby,
Suckling the breast of Mary,
As a little Baby.

The life-giving water of Ezekiel is found
On Mary’s knee, on Mary’s knee,
And the true Messiah of Daniel
On Mary’s knee;
Here is the wise boychild of Isaiah,
The promise made to Adam,
The Alpha and Omega
On Mary’s knee, on Mary’s knee;
In the stall in Beth’lem of Judah,
On Mary’s knee.

Therefore, sinner, hurry,
As thou art, as thou art,
To ask for his Sanctuary,
As thou art;
For thee the well was opened
Which washes thy black wounds
Like the white snow on Salmon,
As thou art, as thou art,
For that, come promptly,
As thou art.

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+2

It's lovely words thank you Tink

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Oh it's so wonderful SFA...I hope they revive all of it and keep it going...the singing, the treacle coffee, the torch processions playing in the streets, 3 AM and 6 AM, the lovely hours.

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