Book Launch: Stars and Ribbons – Winter Wassailing in Wales

Dr. Rhiannon Ifans FLSW has recently published this book: Stars and Ribbons – Winter Wassailing in Wales.

Wassail songs are part of Welsh folk culture, but what exactly are they? When are they sung? Why? And where do stars and pretty ribbons fit in? This study addresses these questions, identifying and discussing the various forms of winter wassailing found in Wales in times past and present. It focuses specifically on the Welsh poetry written over the centuries at the celebration of several rituals – most particularly at Christmas, the turn of the year, and on Twelfth Night – which served a distinct purpose. The winter wassailing aspired to improve the quality of the earth’s fertility in three specific spheres: the productivity of the land, the animal kingdom, and the human race. This volume provides a rich collection of Welsh songs in their original language, translated into English for the first time, and with musical notation. It also provides a comprehensive analysis of these poems and of the society in which they were sung.

Stars and Ribbons | University of Wales Press

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