Hunting of the Wren
Lá an Dreoilín
5th of December 2023
An Irish celebration that is held every year on the 26th of December on St. Stephen's day (Boxing Day). With many origins across Ireland and Europe with several different versions and traditions associated with it. The day is centred on a fake wren, which attached on the top of a decorated pole with crowd following called mummers or straw boys.
The myth tells a story of God wanting to know who was the king of all birds and set a challenge to find out. The bird that could fly the highest and furthest would win. All the birds started with each one slowly dropping off one by one until all there was left was the great eagle. The eagle eventually got tired and began to drop. A wren emerged from beneath the eagle's wings and went further than all the rest of the birds. The deceitful bird went on to win.
The parade will walk from one house or pub to another while playing instruments and singing Sean-nós about the wren. The participants would be asking for donations as they go along. Below is a song about the hunting of the wren but each region and village have their own songs and tunes.
Each branch will be holding celebrations and sessions this Christmas season. If you want to find out more and join in for some fun then contact your local branch today.