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Wishing you a Merry Welsh Christmas

Celebrate a traditional Welsh Christmas at St Fagans: National History Museum

Traditionally Y Gwyliau – Christmastide in Wales marked the beginning of a three-week holiday period during which work was suspended. St Fagans: National History Museum’s Christmastide celebrations - namely Christmas Nights - this year involve three evenings when visitors can leave their work behind and enjoy the magical atmosphere of the museum’s traditional Christmas celebrations.

On 6, 7 and 8 December 2006, an enchanting Welsh Christmas event will take place at St Fagans from 6 – 9pm involving customs which have been practised in Wales for centuries. From the ancient Welsh tradition of Y Fari Lwyd – the horse’s skull, which will be re-enacted outside the tollgate, to a carol service at the 200 year old Penrhiw Chapel and an old fashioned fairground, Christmas Nights will provide an insight into some old seasonal traditions.

The houses at St Fagans, which span different historical periods will be decorated appropriately to look like they would have done when they were lived in. Father Christmas will be present at Cilewent and Abernodwydd Farmhouses, and Christmas stories will be told at another of the museum’s buildings, the 17th Century Cockpit.

Music will feature prominently at Christmas Nights, an occasion which has become one of the highlights of St Fagans’ events calendar. A street organ will welcome visitors to the site, experienced carol singers and bell ringers will add to the atmosphere and traditional brass bands will provide entertainment. Kariad will put on a magic show for the children, Juggling Roadshow will be performing and Mirage Theatre Company will act each night.

Escape the busy high street rush and purchase your gifts and Christmas cards at St Fagans’ shop, your Christmas Hampers at Gwalia Stores and visit Oakdale Workmen’s Institute during Christmas Nights for craft stalls. A great selection of food will be prepared by Digby Trout Restaurants who will be hosting a barbeque at the site, as well as soup, tea and coffee. There will also be freshly made bread and confectionery for sale thanks to Derwen Bakehouse, the on site bakery.

Juli Paschalis, Events Officer who has been leading the preparations said:

“The celebration of the Christmas season has been observed throughout Europe from the earliest times and was more important than Christmas day. Traditionally a

celebration for locals, we are looking forward to welcoming people from the surrounding area as well as visiting tourists to create a community focused event.”

Visitors are encouraged to bring a torch to add to the Christmas atmosphere and entry for Adults is £5, Children £3 and Concessions £4. Family tickets are available at £13 (2 Adults and 2 Children), there is a 10% discount for group bookings and parking is free of charge. For further information, please contact 029 2057 3500.

Ends

For filming and interview opportunities or for further information, please contact Catrin Mears, Communications Officer, 029 2057 3486 or email catrin.mears@museumwales.ac.uk. Photographs will also be available.

Other Christmas events at St Fagans include:

  • 10 December: Service to celebrate 50 years since Penrhiw Chapel was moved to St Fagans: National History Museum from Dre-fach Felindre, near Newcastle Emlyn.
  • 9 & 10 December: ‘A Sustainable Christmas’ - Share some handy hints with us for saving money and looking after the environment this Christmas.
  • 16 December: ‘Christmas Traditions Trail’ – An opportunity to find out more about Welsh Christmases.
  • 29 December: ‘Calennig, the Welsh New Year’ – Make some traditional Calennig gifts and visit some of the museum’s houses to sing for presents.
Date: 1 December 2006
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