Join in Hunt the Wren

Hunt the Wren

Hunt the Wren

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Hunt the Wren will be taking place in Port St Mary on Boxing Day starting at 10am at the primary school.

The party will take a route around the village ending up at The Albert.

Everyone is welcome to take part.

Around 100 people joined in last year’s Hunt the Wren in the port.

This is the first time that the Hunt the Wren has started out from the primary school, in previous years it started out from the Pavilion.

For more information call Caroline Helps on 833208.

The age-old custom of Hunt the Wren is not unique to the island and has been practised in various forms in England, Ireland and even France.

Here it had at one time taken place on Christmas Day but then moved to December 26, St Stephen’s Day.

Originally it was quite a bloodthirsty ritual as gangs of youths would scour the countryside looking for a defenceless wren to trap and kill, but now a more humane option is to use an artificial bird.

The wren becomes the centrepiece for a ‘bush’ – two wooden hoops set at right angles and placed on top of a pole and covered with ribbons and evergreens. This is then carried from house to house while the group sing the Hunt the Wren song and hope to collect money or treats for their troubles.

Margaret Killip in her book The Folklore of the Isle of Man says Hunt the Wren could possibly be the oldest surviving custom in existence.

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