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Laa Noo Steaon: Saint Stephen’s Day: Dec 26th
Ireland. The Hunting of the Wren: Shelg Yn Drean: The wren is the King of the Birds and part of the Old Year that must be dispensed with. Village boys hunted wrens and mounted them on holly poles. Today an empty cage is displayed to symbolize the wren. Boys parade from house to house singing the wren song and asking for burial money. (3)

In Britain  the Hooden Horse, a man disguised as a horse with 4 to 8 supporters collects money from houses in exchange for songs, dances, and games. Coins are put in its mouth. In return the Hooden Horse offers wise sayings. This is the origin of the term Straight from the Horses Mouth. The horse is a symbol of the old year.
Shelg Yn Drean

... Ye yn credjue oc dy jinnagh eh cur lesh aigh vie dy ren eh cur er shenn gheiney as guillyn aegey dy roie geiyrt er, harrish cleiee as jeeigyn, derrey veagh eh tayrit. Yn dooinney ren tayrtyn eh va’n dooinney mooar jeh’n laa ec yn traa shen, as cur eh lesh aigh vie da ooilley yn vlein. Ya’n ushag veg dy kiaralagh tashtit, as currit lesh er boayrd vaatey gys yn skeddan son aigh vie.

Ya paart jeh ny fedjagyn currit da sleih elley, as ren paart freayll fedjag ayns yn sporran oc.

Ya’n drean beg currit er maidjey eddyr daa ghuilley, er meer dy villey-juys chianglt lesh ribbanyn, son cowrey jeh’n immeaght mie oc, as ayns cooinaghtyn jeh’n aigh vie t’eh er chur lesh ayns laaghyn foddey er-dy-henney. Va trass ghuilley as v’eh coodit lesh lieen, as yn eddin echey jeant dhoo, as va dossan dy lhuss kiangit cooidjagh son dy yannoo famman cheuchooylloo. Hug eh lesh lorg liauyr son maidjey, as ren eh freayll traa lesh yn arrane. Ya’n drean shelgit ayns Nherin son dy row ad smooinaghtyn dy row eh fer-obbee. (17)

Hunting the Wren

... It was the belief that it would bring good luck that made old men & young boys run after it, over hedges & ditches, until it would be caught. The man who caught it was the great man of the day at that time, & it brought him good luck the whole year. The little bird was carefully kept, & brought on board the boat to the herrings (herring fishing) for good luck.

Some of the feathers were given to other people, & some kept a feather in their purse.

The little wren was placed on a stick between two boys, on a piece of fir tree tied with ribbons, for a sign of their good going (success), & in remembrance of the good luck it had brought in days long ago. There was a third boy, & he was covered with a net, & his face made black, & a bunch of leeks tied together to make a tail behind his back. He carried a long pole for a stick, & he kept time with the tune. The wren was hunted in Ireland for they thought he was a man of magic. buitch (solar). (17)

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