EP21 Spooky Halloween Folklore and Traditions of Wales: How to celebrate Nos Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh Halloween
Dare you explore the spooky Halloween folklore of Nos Calan Gaeaf?
There’ll be Gothic tales of ghosts, goblins and witches and the spooky history of the spookiest of “spirit nights”.
One of three “spirit nights”, it was a time for fun and festivities, but also a time of apprehension, and to beware the supernatural creatures abroad.
On this episode we will explore:
• The Gothic lore involving the wind blowing over the feet of corpses.
• The significance of seeing well-dressed apparitions in the parish church.
• How to celebrate in the traditional Welsh manner with ghost stories and fairy tales around a giant log fire.
• The return of the dreaded Hwch Ddu Gwta, the terrifying black sow.
• How you can predict who will die in the coming 12 months.
• And how to protect yourself from the witches who takes to the skies on Halloween.
All of these questions and more will be explored in this Halloween episode of the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees podcast.
Did you catch last week’s episode of the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales podcast?
Did you miss last week’s episode? Catch up now: EP20 Halloween in Wales: The secret history of Nos Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh All Hallows’ Eve.
For a full list of every episode, from the Mari Lwyd to the Mabinogion, and to subscribe, please visit the podcast page.
History of Halloween in Wales: Five special episodes
For a full list of episodes check out the Halloween Specials podcast page.
What is Nos Calan Gaeaf?
In Celtic times, each day began at sunset.
October 31 – Nos Calan Gaeaf in Welsh, the night before Calan Gaeaf – marked the beginning of winter, and while it was a time for celebration, it was also a time of great foreboding and apprehension.
For more about Nos Calan Gaeaf, be sure to subscribe to the Ghosts & Folklore podcast which will be focusing on the festival all through October, and check out the book The A-Z of Curious Wales for lots more weird and wonderful facts.
Read more about the spooky Halloween folklore of Nos Calan Gaeaf and other Welsh curiosities
Published by The History Press, here’s the blurb:
Wales’ history is packed with peculiar customs and curious characters. Here you will discover alien landscapes, ancient druids and a Victorian ghost hunter.
Find out why revellers would carry a decorated horse’s skull on a pole door to door at Christmastime, how an eccentric inventor hoped to defeat Hitler with his futuristic ray gun, and why a cursed wall is protected by a global corporation for fear it might destroy a town.
From the folklore surrounding the red dragon on the flag, to the evolution of the song ‘Sosban Fach’, this compendium of weird and wonderful facts will surprise and delight even the most knowledgeable resident or visitor.
It is available from all good bookshops and online from the books page.