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Celtic Tomes:                     Readings from Bygone Books

Gary & Ruth bring you readings from the Classic Books of Celtic Lore and Study

Nov 22, 2017

Courtship and Marriage

British Goblins: Welsh Folk Lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions (1881)

Book 3 Chapter 5


Wirt Sikes

Welsh customs of courtship and marriage. Sikes tells us about the Welsh Goddess of Love, later known as St. Dwynwen and how commonplace was the Welsh custom of 'Bundling' or 'courting abed'! We learn about romantic divination and how a Maid may find herself in trouble with the fairies if she is not a 'true maid'. He finishes the chapter by discussing divination by the Knife and the Sheath!

  • Courtship and Marriage 0:55
  • Planting Weeds and Rue on the Graves of Old Bachelors 2:23
  • Special Significance of Flowers in connection with virginity 3:24
  • The Welsh Venus 4:30
  • Bundling, or Courting Abed 6:25
  • Kissing Schools 10:28
  • Rhamanta 11:10
  • Lovers' Superstitions 11:20 
  • The Maid's Trick 11:35
  • Dreaming on a Mutton Bone 13:10
  • Wheat and Shovel 13:35
  • Garters in a Lovers' Knot 14:14
  • Egg-Shell Cake 14:40
  • Sowing Leeks 15:30
  • Twca and Sheath 16:33

Names Used in this Section

All proper names and words in Welsh or other languages are recorded here in the show-notes and we've done our best to get the pronunciations right for you.

Twca and Sheath
Howell the Good
Dwynwen, daughter of Brychan

St. Dwynwen - Artwork © Jonathon Earl Bowser –

St. Dwynwen - Artwork © Jonathon Earl Bowser –

Thomas Stephens
Sopen, sypio
Caru yn y gwelu (courting abed)

Bundling, or Courting Abed

Bundling, or Courting Abed

Myrdim, Carmarthenshire

Y sawl sydd i gydfydio,
Doed i gydgribinio!

'Dyma'r twca, p'le mae'r wain?' (Here's the twca, where's the sheath?)


British Goblins can be found on

You can find out more about Wirt Sikes on Wikipedia.

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