They are celebrating their year according to the old Julian calendar.
Hen Galan is an old tradition of New Year, only now generally observed in a tiny pocket of Wales, namely by residents of Cwm Gwaun (Gwaun Valley), who still celebrate the date by following numerous traditions linked to that time.
The Julian calendar was abolished controversially in 1752 and replaced with the Gregorian calendar, which was approved by Pope Gregory XIII nearly 200 years earlier. But like all good Welsh traditions, at Bluestone, we like to embrace it.
Tradition holds that the children of Welsh communities would go from door to door singing, and are given ‘Calennig’ in return, usually sweets or money.
“Traditionally Hen Galan was a bigger celebration than Christmas, so turkey or goose was the regular table offering,” said Bluestone’s Head of Sales and Marketing Yvonne Buckingham “At Bluestone, as well as recognising the importance of celebration, we love to embrace the incredible cultural heritage that we have here in Wales, and specifically in Pembrokeshire. As part of our Hen Galan event, we will carry on the tradition of Mari Llwyd, where a horse’s head (a grey mare- hence the name) is paraded around on a pole, decorated with ribbons and greenery.”
In years gone by this used to be a real horses skull, but in the last few decades a wooden effigy has been preferred. Apparently when Mari Llwyd accompanies the singers, she brings good luck and fortune on the houses she visits.
So if, like us, Christmas and New Year passed you by a little too quickly and you’re here on a winter break at Bluestone, head on down to the Tafarn pub at the resort to extend the festive period.
The celebration coincides with start of the resort’s Winter Lights season, with its magical, interactive lights in the village and on part of the Nature Trail between January 8-22.