Custom Search

Site Index | Kids | Kitchen | Shopping | Poetry | Weddings | Travel | Basic Irish | Quotes | Books | Music | Movies | Trivia | Blessings | Links| Jokes |


News Page

History Page
Traditions, folklore, history and more. If it's Irish, it's here. Or will be!

"People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors."
-Edmund Burke

Home Page

Kids Page

Kitchen Recipe Page


Library: Books, Movies, Music

Prints & Photos



Irish Wedding

Shops Ireland

Bunús na Gaeilge
(Basic Irish)

Circle of Prayer


Did You Know?


Write to Us

Readers Write..

Links/Link to Us

Advertise with us

Awards & Testimonials

Submissions Guide

Help keep us free
Throughout the site you will see many items available for purchase from well-known merchants such as Amazon. Not interested in what we're featuring? It doesn't matter. Click on any link and then shop for whatever you wish - we will still get credit, if you buy something.
Thanks for your help.


The Day After
by Grainne Rowland

It was December 26, St. Stephen's Day, Wren Day. Anthony and Joseph were jumping with excitement.

"Is it time yet?" asked Joseph for the hundredth time. Their mother was preparing breakfast in the early morning dawn.

"Will you two please calm down!" she exclaimed. "You can't go anywhere until you have something warm in your stomach. It will likely be hours before you come back and it is cold outside."

Joseph and Anthony gulped down their breakfasts. Why did they have to eat oatmeal, eggs, rashers, toast, and a pot of tea today of all days? They had other things to do this day!

As soon as they had eaten, the boys ran for mother's room. Mother was rummaging through a trunk of old clothes. There were many ribbons of different colors lying on the bed.

"Alright, boys," said Mother, "you may dress up in any of these old clothes. Just dress warmly. Here are the ribbons you may use."

"Thanks, Mum," said Anthony, as he and Joseph quickly put on old clothes. They chose clothes that were very old, very long, and very big. They pinned on the colored ribbons wherever they could reach. They went to the fireplace and rubbed soot on their faces. They were ready to go!

Mother smiled as she looked at them.

"You look very strange," she said. The boys grinned.

"But, remember, you are reminding people that the wren, as tiny a bird as it is, once told the Roman soldiers where Baby Jesus was. The Holy Family barely escaped. So be on your best behavior."

"Yes, Mum," promised both boys. They grabbed a jar and bolted out of the house. Inside the jar was a potato. The potato had feathers stuck into it, so that it looked like a wren.

Joseph and Anthony started down the road to the next house. They sang at the top of their lungs as they went. The "Wren Song" was the official song for this day. They heard other groups of boys shouting it out on other streets.

"The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze.
Although he is little, his honor is great.
Jump up, me lads, and give us a treat."
Joseph and Anthony went to the first house and knocked. When the door opened, they asked, "A penny to bury the wren." They were given some small coins.

This happened at every house in town. When the boys came home at the end of the day, they had a jar full of money! What a lot of treats they could buy now! Mother and Father were both smiling at the boys' excitement.

"So it seems like you had a good day," Father said.

In bed that night, Joseph and Anthony talked it over.

"If we made that much money in one day, think what we could do in two days!" marveled Joseph. "Shall we do it again tomorrow?"

"Yes, let's," grinned Anthony. "But we'd better get out of the house early."

Before dawn the next morning, the boys dressed up, grabbed the wren jar, and set out. They wondered why everyone seemed to be grinning at them so much today. And where were the other boys? By midmorning, they had made even more money than the day before. They raced home.

As they entered their own front door, Father grabbed them by their collars.

"The neighbors are laughing at this family!" he roared. "You have embarrassed all of us. Do you think we are beggars? Do we have to hold out our hands and whimper for even the smallest coin? Both of you go to bed for the rest of the day. You'll have no supper tonight!"

Surprised, the boys went to their room. What'd we do, they wondered. They listened as Mother and Father argued in the kitchen.

Later, Mother came into their room with some bread and butter. She smoothed down their hair as she explained.

"Your father was very angry with you because you went out to bury the wren a second day. St. Stephen's Day is but one day."

Mother grinned. "Do you know he did the same thing on the day after when he was your age? But don't ever tell him I told you that!"

The boys laughed out loud. Then, promising to keep the secret, they snuggled under their blankets and went to sleep.

Note: This is a true story! I know the guys who did it. Names have been changed to protect the guilty!

Image: House Wren from All Posters

Index of All Children's Stories


Fri, Feb 2, 2018

Valentine's Day in Ireland

All over the world, Valentine's Day is celebrated with flowers, chocolates and cards. But in Ireland, it's even more special. In 1836, a relic of St. Valentine was sent by Pope Gregory to the Carmelite Church in Dublin. Every year since then, on Valentine's Day, a casket containing the relic is carried in a procession to the high altar for a special Mass dedicated to young people and those in love. If you're lucky enough to be there, this little known Dublin church also sells Valentine's Day cards. But if you're like most young people, it's much more fun to give cards you've made yourself.
Photo Credit: Early Childhood Ireland

Click for More Culture Corner.

Fill out your email address to receive our Free Newsletter!
Powered by

"No man ever wore a cravat as nice, as his own child's arm around his neck."
- Irish Proverb


Site Index | Kids | Kitchen | Shopping | Poetry | Weddings | Travel | Basic Irish
Quotes |
Books | Music | Movies | Trivia | Blessings | Links | Jokes |

  All contents copyright © 2001 through 2011 inclusive - all rights reserved.
March 4, 2011
Rollover button Images:
Wedding LaRose, Kids Reading & Kitchen Apples and Tea from All Posters prints.
The information provided on this site is offered as-is, without warranty. This site's owners, operators, authors and partners disclaim any and all liability from the information provided herein.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks on this site are the property of their respective owners.