‘Happy New Year from Pembrokeshire’
The people in the hamlets of Pontfaen and Llanychaer uphold a unique tradition – they still celebrate New Year’s Day on 13th January according to the old Gregorian calendar! Which the rest of the UK stopped using in 1752.
The celebration – called Hen Galan – has been carried from generation to generation and is still marked in villages throughout the valley. For the children, Hen Galan was often spent travelling from house-to-house singing traditional rhymes to ‘let in’ the coming year and to wish the occupants health and happiness. Deriving from calan, meaning the first day of the month, the custom known as calennig (New Year’s gift) refers to the practice of singing from door-to-door on New Year’s Day.
The Gwaun Valley is in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and has a unique atmosphere and an abundance of wildlife and prehistoric sites.