The giving of gifts on New Year's Day is an ancient custom. In Wales it took the form of collecting calennig (New Year's Gift). Children would form groups and go from house to house, bearing good wishes for the health and prosperity of the family during the year to come. This was symbolised by the skewered apples, stuck with corn and sprigs of evergreen, which they carried in their hands. Verses were sung at the door of the house, and they would receive small gifts of food or money for their troubles.

Latterly, the carrying of the apple has been discontinued, and only the recitation of a few verses and the collecting of new pennies mark the custom in those districts where it has survived.

Here is a verse sung in Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire:

Mi godais heddiw ma's o'm tÅ·
A'm cwd a'm pastwn gyda mi,
A dyma'm neges ar eich traws,
Sef llanw'm cwd â bara a chaws.

(I left my house today
With my bag and my stick,
And here is my message to you,
Fill my bag with bread and cheese.)

Comments(3)

7 January 2016, 23:45
Roedd fy nhadcu a'm teulu arfer rhoi calennig ini ac nawr mae fy mam yn parahau gyda'r draddodiad wrth roi calennig i'm mhlant - mae'n bwysig i gadw'r traddodiadau fel bod ein plant yn parhau a nhw !
31 December 2015, 17:58
I still love reading and hearing about the old Welsh customs. It makes my heart sing thanks
30 December 2015, 22:42
Pan oeddwn i'n blentyn yn Llanon, Sir Aberteifi, byddem yn mynd i hela Calennig fore dydd Calan ond roedd yn rhaid gorffen am hanner dydd felly roedd rhaid codi'n fore i gael mynd yn glou o dy i dy a thrio cyrraedd y ffermydd hefyd gan eu bod hwy yn tueddu i fod yn fwy hael!! Byddai fy nhad yn mynd i'r banc y diwrnod cynt i gael ceiniogau newydd sbon i'w rhoi i'r plant fyddai'n galw gyda ni. Ein rhigwm ni oedd

Rhowch galennig yn galonnog
I blant bach sydd heb un geiniog. !!

Mi gefais dipyn o siom symud i ardal Abertawe ar ol priodi a darganfod nad oedd yn arfer bellach yma i'm plant i.

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