This taken from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica entry for Cardiganshire under the heading "Customs, etc." which contains some interesting information about some now vanished country customs.


The old Welsh costume, customs and superstitions are fast disappearing, although they linger in remote districts such as the neighbourhood of Llangeitho. The steeple-crowned beaver hat has practically vanished, although it was in general use within living memory; but the short petticoat and overskirt (pais-a-gwn-belch), the frilled mob-cap, little check shawl and buckled shoes are still worn by many of the older women.

Of peculiarly Welsh customs, the bidding (gwahoddiad) is not quite extinct in the county. The bidding was a formal invitation sent by a betrothed pair through a bidder (gwahoddwr) to request the presence and gifts of all their neighbours at the forthcoming marriage. All presents sent were duly registered in a book with a view to repayment, when a similar occasion should arise in the case of the donors. When printing became cheap and common, the services of the professional bidder were often dispensed with, and instead printed leaflets were circulated.

The curious horse wedding (priodas ceffylau) at which the man and his friends pursued the future bride to the church porch on horseback, and then returned home at full gallop, became obsolete before the end of the 19th century.

Of the practices connected with death, the wake, or watching of the corpse, alone remains; but the habit of attending funerals, even those of strangers, is still popular with both sexes, so that a funeral procession in Cardiganshire is often a very imposing sight.

Nearly all the old superstitions, once so prevalent, concerning the fairies (tylwyth teg) and fairy rings, goblins (bwbachod), and the teulu, or phantom funeral, are rapidly dying out; but in the corpse candle (canwll corph*), a mysterious light which acts as a death-portent and is traditionally connected with St David, are still found many believers.

* Note: This should be probably be "canwyll corff"

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