Showing posts from December, 2018

The Wran's Day on the Dingle Peninsula

The Wran, or Wren's, Day is celebrated on 26 December, just after the winter solstice. It’s as much a part of the holiday season here on the Dingle Peninsula as Christmas Day itself. If you study folklore or anthropology, you learn that it belongs to a tradition that stretches back to the first people who came here, thousands of years before Christianity. Its name is a corruption of the English word ‘wren’, and in Irish it’s Lá an Dreoilín (which is pronounced something like “Law Un Dro-leen”.) There’s endless research on the Wran’s Day, and suggestions that dreoilín, the word for wren, comes from ‘draoi-éan’ , ‘druid’s bird’. It’s linked to ancient midwinter festivals and shamanism, when a shared web of ideas and information was accessed like a form of internet powered by human energy, and to later folk traditions like Straw Boys and Guisers. Its rituals belong to a dream state beyond stories, or even words, when there were just images and rhythms.