Calan, the international band from Wales, will be returning to their Celtic roots when they visit Beverley in Yorkshire December 7th to perform their show A Celtic Christmas. One might not associate Yorkshire as being the ‘land of song’ but back in the county’s ancient past there existed a Celtic kingdom where tribes spoke an old version of Welsh. Band member Bethan Rhiannon has always enjoyed the tours that take in Yorkshire and is now planning to claim part Yorkshire ancestry. ‘I might even give up watching rugby and start playing cricket’, she said. ‘If I just have a small part of Yorkshire I’ll be chuffed’
Some of the place names still exist in the White Rose county today such as Pen-y-ghent, a fell in the Yorkshire dales. Pen is the Welsh word for’ head’ or top and the y is the Welsh word for ‘the’ whilst Ghent might be related to the Welsh word for wind, ‘gwynt’. Therefore ‘head of the wind’. In Wales there are place names very similar such as Penybont ‘end of the bridge’ or Penyfan ‘head of the peak’. Indeed, during the 5th and 7th centuries there was an independent Brittonic or old Welsh kingdom known as Elmet or in modern Welsh, Elfed. It later became the West Riding of Yorkshire. There is even a theory that the town of Beverley gets the first part of its name from an old Celtic word ‘bebro’ meaning ‘beaver’.
However, one of the place names that is certainly not of Celtic origin is the village of Wales, South Yorkshire. It is thought the name could come from the Roman word Waelas, meaning field of battle. During the Euros qualifying rounds a few years ago, the name caused some confusion when a bus load of Belgian football supporters turned up looking for The Millennium Stadium. ‘I think you’ve got the wrong Wales mate’, said one of the residents.
So, if you’re someone who wants an evening of Yorkshire/Welsh entertainment it promises to be a cracker of show with music, dance, traditional Welsh bagpipes, fiddles and step dancing bringing the Yuletide season to life. Relive history by hearing how entertainment sounded in the days before satellite TV and Christmas specials. There will be flaming hot reels and roasting jigs along with some familiar traditional songs and a rendition of Plygain singing – a seasonal tradition from Wales of harmony singing once popular in the churches and chapels. Following their great success in Borneo, Canada, USA, Australia, France and Denmark Calan are heading for Yorkshire and ‘driving home for Christmas’? An unmissable party. As the Celts say “Croeso” or “I'm chuffed t'bits wi' that."
Tickets are £15 on the door or in advance from 07708923540 or https://www.hullboxoffice.com/event/a-celtic-christmas-with-calan/