It wasn’t confirmed until last night but we are set to play the Ceilidh on Friday night around 8 pm. This fun little event is defined by Wikipedia as, ” a céilidh or ceilidh /ˈkeɪlɪ/ is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing.” We are only going to be playing 3 or 4 songs but it will be a great warm up to Saturday’s events at the actual festival. Terry, the woman who asked us to play, specifically asked me to do “Rhiannon” and do a little story telling behind the Welsh mythological woman. I just recently downloaded the the Mabinogion (Welsh pronunciation: [mabɪˈnɔɡjɔn]) is the title given to a collection of eleven prose stories collated from medieval Welsh manuscripts. This is where you find the story of Rhiannon and Pwyll. Rhiannon was thought by some to be a witch, and although there are some allusion to this nature it never comes out and clearly says that in the story. Rhiannon rides a beautiful white horse and is dressed in the most beautiful of gold silk brocade. She is absolutely the most beautiful woman, but no one can seem to catch her.
Finally Pwyll does catch her and she tells him that she had waited for him and only him to catch her all along. She is betrothed to another, Gwawl ap Clud, but wants to marry Pwyll. After Pwyll humiliates his rival and has Rhiannon’s hand they are married and eventually a boy is born. On the night of his birth the boy disappears and Rhiannon’s 6 ladies-in-waiting smear the blood from a dog on her and accuse her of killing and eating the newborn child. Rhiannon is forced to do penance and long story short Pwyll and Rhiannon are eventually reunited with their lost son, Pryderi, when one of Pwyll’s vassals discover he has been raising Pwyll’s son as his own.
It’s quite a sad and moving tale and can be found at Amazon.com free for your Kindle in the Mabinogion and includes other Welsh tales of folk lore.
- from The Mabinogion (apolitical.info)