School: Baile Uí Dhuibh, Kilmeaden (roll number 13636)

Ballyduff West, Co. Waterford
Caitlín Madders

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St Stephen's Day Customs

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0650, Page 309

Image and data © National Folklore Collection, UCD. See copyright details »

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The St. Stephens day customs are dying out because children are ashamed of doing them.
One of the oldest, and most popular of these customs is the going around with the wren.
Boys and girls dress themselves in disguise so that they may not be recognized by their neighbours when they visit their houses with the wren.
They carry with them a Holly bush decorated with coloured papers, and ribbons. On the top of the Holly Bush an imitation of a wren is placed.
At each house that they visit they sing the "Wren Song" and in return for this they get money.
Wren Song.
The wren, the wren, the King of all birds St. Stephen's Day he was caught in the furze.
Although he be little his honour is great. Get up young ladies and give us a treat

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