Nadolig 2013

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


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Y Cneifiwr

Diolch Jac. There is a very good article on the Plygain tradition on the Museum of Wales website here:

ac yn Gymraeg:

Clare A Keith Ward

I attended a very enjoyable Plygain workshop a few weeks ago (Arfon was one of the group) at y Lasynys Fawr near Harlech – I have posted recordings from the session on Soundcloud
We will be joining together as a group again for a Plygain service in Llanfair, Gwynedd in January – very much looking forward to it.



Jeremy Wood

Heartlifting? Diolch yn fawr iawn!


There has been some sort of revival in this. I know that in recent years they’ve started a Plygain service in north Pembrokeshire for example. I’ve heard the same of other places too being reportend on some radio programme a while ago.

Nadolig Llawen i chi.