Keep Manx Christmas traditions alive by joining in with two events taking place on Monday - St Stephen’s Day.

Hunt the Wren dates back to pre-Christian times and sees communities come together to dance and sing around the streets.

The practice centres on a wren ‘the king of all birds’ – just a plastic replica or stuffed toy these days – which is hunted and then danced through the streets on a decorated pole.

At one time, the feathers of the wren were considered lucky charms, as they were thought to give protection against shipwrecks and witchcraft.

There is a strong element of community in the words of the song, where the body of the bird is cooked and shared about around the people of the town, regardless of their station in life.

The first to get under way is in Port St Mary.

Participants should meet at the Scoill Phurt le Moirrey car park at 10am.

Dancers will then meet outside the Woodbourne Hotel, in Douglas, from 10.15am for a 10.30am start.

In Ramsey, festivities get under way at 10.30am. Meet outside St Paul’s Church.

And Hunt the Wren will take place at St John’s at 10.30am too. Meet in the arboretum car park.

In Kirk Michael, dancers will start off outside the Mitre pub at 11am. They will continue on to Ballaugh, where they be outside The Raven at 11.20am. They will then head to the Sulby Glen pub for 11.40am.

Finally, dancers will meet at Willaston School, opposite The Manor, at 10.45am.

As the age-old tradition states, all the dancing and frivolities must be finished by midday.

Most retire to a pub for a hot drink and a bit of Manx music.

Culture Vannin’s Manx music development officer, Dr Chloe Woolley, said: ‘Hunt the Wren is a fun and friendly event that everyone is welcome to join in with on St Stephen’s Day, whichever location you choose to attend.

‘The dance is easy for newcomers to pick up, and there are usually song lyrics available for the non-dancers!

‘It’s a long-standing Manx tradition which all the community can get involved in, and it’s a very good reason to get up and out of the house on Boxing Day!”

The annual cammag match where north will take on south will then get under way on the Tynwald Fairfield, in St John’s, at 2pm.

It will be followed by a Manx music session in the Tynwald Inn.

Cammag is the traditional sport of the Isle of Man, closely related to hurling or shinty in neighbouring Celtic nations and keenly contested.

Records go back hundreds of years, showing the sport’s dominance on the island until only around 100 years ago when football came to Manx shores.

The sport was restarted in the mid 1990s by John Kaneen, after he read about it in a book.

He issued a flyer inviting people to take part and said he was surprised at the number of people who turned up with ‘all sorts of sticks and broom handles’.

In an interview for Culture Vannin he said: ‘People have turned up with tin pots on the end of sticks – it doesn’t matter when all is said and done.’

He added: ‘If people come out and enjoy themselves then that’s enough of an excuse to do it.’

Teams are separated by whether or not they identify as being from the north or the south of the island, although there is always some debate as to where the players from the east or west should join in.

The clearest dividing line has so far been claimed to run from slightly north of Ramsey through to Dalby in the west. It makes Peel players part of the north team and those from Douglas and Laxey for the south.

See for more information about both traditions.