Happy Old New Year!
From a posting in the Christmas International Group at Yahoo
GWAUN VALLEY, Wales -- Most of us have already celebrated
New Year's Eve but a community in Wales celebrates its arrival
on 13 January every year.
In their report, pupils from the Gwaun Valley explain why
they do this and what they do to celebrate their special
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"In Cwm Gwaun (the Gwaun Valley) in Wales, we don't celebrate
New Year on 1 January.
We celebrate Hen Galan (the old New Year) on 13 January.
This is because we keep to the traditional, old Julian
calendar for New Year.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decided to change the calendar -
10 days had to be erased.
Many people did not like this so they rioted.
In the end, the people had to give in, but some places kept
some of their traditional dates for celebrations - like us!
In Cwm Gwaun nowadays, we go round the houses and farms to
sing and collect Calennig (a gift of money, sweets or food).
We sing traditional Calennig songs - these songs welcome in
the New Year and wish people a happy New Year.
Early start ---
Everybody looks forward to seeing us, and prepares for the
day by getting up early to make food and treats.
And because there are so many places to go to, we start out
very early - sometimes around 8.30am.
In the evening we all get together with family and friends
to celebrate with lots of singing and eating.
We think everyone here would be very disappointed if this
tradition died out."
Class 2, Ysgol Llanychllwydog, Wales
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