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December 2009

Icy St Fagans

Posted by Chris Owen on 22 December 2009

St Fagans:National History Museum has been closed today due to the poor weather conditions. I went out for a walk to take some photographs and it's very slippery but also so pretty!


Posted by Chris Owen on 22 December 2009

On the 30th and 31st of December between 11am and 12.30pm we will be making Calennig gifts(like the one in the picture above!)

At 2pm there will also be a chance for you to sing with the Calennig gift you have created. It's going to be so much fun!

And if you are wondering what the apple on a stick is all about, here's what Trefor M. Owen has to say in his fantastic book 'Welsh Folk Customs':

'The giving of gifts on New Year's Day is an ancient custom once widely observed but more recently displaced by the growing importance of Christmas and Christmas presents. The collecting of calennig (New Year's gift)is a Welsh form of this custom.

[...]the collecting of calennig began early in the day and continued until noon. An account published in 1819 describes the custom in the following words: 'New Year is marked by all the children in the neighbourhood forming themselves in little groups and carrying from house to house their congratulations and good wishes for the health and prosperity during the ensuing year, which are symbolized by each bearing in his hand an apple stuck full of corn, variously coloured and decorated with a sprig of some evergreen, three short skewers serve as supports to the apple when not held in the hand, and a fourth serves to hold it by without destroying its many coloured honours.''

Christmas Art cart

Posted by Chris Owen on 22 December 2009

Well, we've been pretty busy on the art cart making wrapping paper, squishy stars, paper-plate angels, pop-up cards and garlands. Everyone who came by stayed a while and made some beautiful things. Unfortunately I didn't manage to take any photographs of your work, so if you made anything and are using it to decorate your house please email me a picture!

Here are some of the things that I made as examples and then took home!

Happy Christmas and see you all in the New Year!

''Christmas is coming, the daffs are getting fat!?''

Posted by Chris Owen on 5 December 2009
Eyton Primary School, Wrexham
Prof plant
Picture by Professor Plant. Early daffodil shoot (5/12/09)

Merry Christmas Bulb Buddies!

So many of you have reported sightings of new shoots and it's not even Christmas yet! This week my shoots have appeared too, they are about 2cm tall -see my picture.

This autumn is much warmer than last years. The average temperatures in Wales for October and November are almost 1.5 degrees warmer than they were in 2008. As a result, many daffodils have started growing already. Farmers from the Really welsh farm reported: "We too have lots of daffodil shoots coming through, the warm, wet weather should mean that our daffodils will be ready for the shops in the spring. The flowers may open a few weeks earlier than last year".

If we get a frosty spring next year, this could damage some of the daffodils that have started growing. These Daffodils are very tough though - so they still should produce beautiful flowers. It will be interesting to see if the early shoots grow into early flowers. Watch this space...

Thanks to all of you young scientists who are keeping such accurate weather records - they are really useful to help us understand what is going on with our seasons and nature. Please let us know here if you see any other plants growing early.

Don't forget! This week hundreds of scientists and world leaders are getting together in Copenhagen to make a deal to help save the planet. It's being called one of the most important meetings in the world! See newsround for the latest and let me know what you think.

Next week, is the last week for recording before Christmas - then you all can enjoy your holidays.

Have a fantastic Christmas!

Professor Plant











Art Cart - 5,12,19,21,22,23 December

Posted by Chris Owen on 4 December 2009

This Saturday on the art cart we will be getting ready for Christmas by making wrapping paper, tags and decorations. There will also be some Christmas colouring sheets for little ones.

As usual, the art cart will be in Oriel 1, St Fagans: National History Museum between 11-1 and 2-4.

  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.