The celebration of Saint Stephen is commemorated annually in Ireland on 26th December. The day is to commemorate St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Meanwhile, the celebration seems to have little relation to St. Stephen himself. The Irish name for the day literally means “Day of the Wren” or “Wren Day.”
If you come to Ireland for St. Stephen’s Day, you will see boys and girls going door to door singing the wren bird’s song. They will sing the wren song, which tells the bird, as well as they also will come to a private or public house, even public place. The boys and girls will sing and play the music. The boys are called as wrenboys and the girls called as mummers. Their performance will exchange with coin, so the people who meet them usually will give coin and you can also give them food or drink.
In this time, people usually wear straw clothes and hats and use old clothes. They will celebrate the St. Stephen’s day by visiting each door and playing the music. Wren, a kind of bird will be used as icon for the festival, thus influenced by the Gaelic myth. Gaelic is Irish ancestors and also used as daily language in Ireland. They believed that the term Druid’s bird and becomes as messenger between the world and the next world. Thus this tradition is much affected by the myth of Gaelic. Besides that, Wren believed as the smartest bird and they have faith that tiny wren has powerful sway in Celtic mythology.
In addition, the usual habit in St. Stephen’s day is less common nowadays for the generation. Now, people usually feast the day by watching the pantomime and also visiting their family. If you want to celebrate the day like the last, you may come to these county, like county Dingle, Galway, and New Inn.
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