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?

Get ready

  • 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?

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