This video reminds us of the Plygain service, an ancient Welsh Christmas tradition. As Arfon Gwilym explains, Plygain was a carol service held in the early hours of Christmas morning. It must have been quite moving to see people arriving at the church in the darkness, on foot or by horse-drawn cart.
As is also explained, the Plygain tradition died out in most parts of Wales, surviving only in a contiguous area of central Wales from south Meirionnydd through Montgomeryshire into south Denbighshire. We’ll be having the Plygain service in our village in early January.
With Arfon Gwilym is this video are Robin Huw Bowen and Sioned Webb, giving a wonderful rendition of Ar Gyfer Heddiw’r Bore.
Use your imagination and try to picture it being sung by eighteenth-century farmers in a whitewashed church lit by flickering candles, with snow falling all over the land.
NADOLIG LLAWEN / HAPPY CHRISTMAS