Wren Day, also known as Wren’s Day, Day of the Wren, or Hunt the Wren Day (Irish: Lá an Dreoilín), is celebrated on 26 December, St. Stephen’s Day in a number of countries across Europe. The tradition consists of “hunting” a fake wren and putting it on top of a decorated pole. Then the crowds of mummers, or strawboys, celebrate the wren (also pronounced wran) by dressing up in masks, straw suits, and colourful motley clothing. They form music bands and parade through towns and villages. These crowds are sometimes called the wrenboys. Source
According to Joe Mc Gowan, beware of imitations. The true mummers go with their madcap revelry at Christmas and celebrate the winter solstice in the way of always. Strawboys in straw dress go out to weddings all through the year. Wrenboys go out on St. Stephen’s night. It’s important to know the difference. Source
Proverb: “Never make a tradition or break a tradition.”
Lá an Dreoilín/Wren Day – article and photos from Irish Times (2016)
CHRISTMAS PANTOMIMES – AN IRISH CULTURAL TRADITION by IRISH AMERICAN MOM
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