Make your own calennig apple
December 21 2016 - 16:16
Across Wales on New Year’s Day, groups of children would go from door to door in their local neighbourhood to collect ‘calennig’, a New Year gift. They would offer good wishes in the form of an apple, skewered with holly and other evergreen branches and decorated with nuts or cloves. After singing a verse or two, the children would wait expectantly for a gift of a few coins or some tasty treats. Why not revive this ancient custom by making a calennig apple for your home?
- Choose an apple to decorate – a local variety if you can
- Find a few branches of an evergreen plant such as holly or box
- Select your decorations - these could be cloves, nuts or anything else you fancy!
Put it all together
- Remove the leaves from one of the evergreen branches and cut it into three equal pieces. Insert these into the base of the apple like a tripod.
- Insert two or three of the evergreen branches into the top of the apple
- Stick your decorations around the apple and admire your creation!
Why not get into the true spirit of calennig and learn a traditional New Year’s Day song?
Did this tradition once take place in your part of Wales? Do you know anyone that still exchange calennig gifts?