This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Word To Use Today: calennig.

A calennig is a Welsh New Year present, often given to or made by children.

You can make a calennig yourself quite easily: all you do is get an apple or an orange, poke in three sticks to make legs, stick in some cloves (and dried fruit, oats, nuts or wheat, apparently, though surely a raisin or a date is too squidgy to stick into an apple) and then you put a spray of greenery (probably thyme or rosemary, or holly or box) in the top. And that's it. A calennig.

You then can either put it on the windowsill to bring luck to the house, or you can give it to friends or family to give the luck to them. Or you can go really old-fashioned and carry one from house to house in the hope of being given sweets or cakes or even a cup of beer,

Dydd calan yw hi heddiw, 

you might say as you go:

Rwy'n dyfod ar eich traws
I'mofyn am y geiniog
Neu grwst a bara a chaws.

Today is the start of the New Year, and I have come to ask for coins, or a crust and bread and cheese.

And you know something? 

I might even try it, to see if it works.

Word To Use Today: calennig. This Welsh word means first day of the month. It comes from the Latin kalends and is related to the English word calendar,

NB: Charmingly, the Welsh village of Cwm Gwaun is still working on the Julian Calendar as far as its calennig celebrations go, and so they're held on January 13th.

Happy New Year to you, whenever it may fall.

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