Halloween is upon us, so I thought I'd tell you a creepy story about a well known Welsh painting, and a few Welsh traditions which I found on The Welsh Book Shop's blog.
I love the Welsh Gift Shop and often purchase gifts from their large selection of lovely items,from there, for friends and family . This is their website:
In Wales, Nos Galan Gaeaf (Halloween) is celebrated the day before Winter (Calan Gaeaf - 1st November) it is a 'Ysbrydnos' - a night when the ghosts and ghouls are rife.
Have you heard about the Salem Painting? It is a depiction of Welsh piety, an illustration of traditional Welsh costume and, if you look closely, you might see a portrait of the devil himself!
The 1908 painting by Sydney Curnow Vosper is called Salem as it is set in Capel Salem in Pentre Gwynfryn, Gwynedd (nothing to do with the witch trails of the 17th century)
The Welsh lady is Siân Owen, a real person. She was 71, a widow, and lived in an isolated farmhouse. Siân died in 1927 and is buried in Llanfair churchyard, near Harlech.
There are a few hidden meanings to spot in the painting.
With thanks to Becca Hemmings of the Welsh Gift Shop - see her original post here:
Here are some ancient Welsh traditions:
Avoid churchyards, stiles, and crossroads, since spirits are thought to gather here.
Families would build a fire and everyone would add a stone with their name on it. The following morning, if any of the named stones were missing, that person would die within the year. Imagine the sleepless night hoping your name would remain!
Legend has it that terrifying spirits in the form of a black sow without a tail and a headless woman would roam the countryside on Nos Galan Gaeaf. Keep indoors in front of a roaring fire and you should be safe!
Never look into your mirror on this night, or you might see witches and demons in your sleep!
Don't touch or smell the ground ivy - as it will make you see hags or witches while you sleep! It could also give you the power of prophetic dreams if prepared correctly; Boys would cut 10 leaves of ivy, throw one away and put the rest under their pillow. Girls would have to grow a rose, train it around a large hoop, then slip through the hoop three times before cutting the rose in perfect silence and placing it under their pillow (a bit tougher for the girls!)
For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation. http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join