February 9 - Gŵyl Mabsant

Posted on February 9, 2019

Blindfolded wheelbarrow driving! Bando and Fives! Hot pudding! Old women's grinning matches! 

Way back when, in Wales, Catholic and Anglican churches had a patron saint for each parishes, and festivals would be held every year in commemoration of these saints.

The Welsh name for these traditional festivals was Gŵyl Mabsant, and February 9 was the original date when the Gŵyl Mabsant for St. Teilo was held in Llandeilo. 

I guess there wasn't enough hot pudding eating and too much alcohol drinking, and not enough old women grinning and too many young men betting - because the rowdiness of the festivals earned them a bad reputation. The fairs mostly died out in the mid-1800s.

But, I dunno - wouldn't it be grand to have another old women's grinning match?

By the way, bando was a team sport similar to the modern game of field hockey. Players used clubs to hit balls to their own team's goal.

Fives was a game rather like handball.

Where in the world is Wales?

It's part of the United Kingdom.

Wales is known for...

Place names with no vowels (actually, not true, because "w" and "y" are vowels in Welsh):

Beautiful beaches you'd swear were in tropical Asian countries!

Beautiful countryside - including this flowering 15th Century cottage:

Old churches and abbeys and castles:

Mythology and folk stories:

Y Ddraig Goch, the red dragon, inspired
the Welsh flag, below.

The Lady of the Lake

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