Image: Dan Dzurisin. In Ireland, the day after Christmas means hunting down a small bird and tying it to the top of a pole. Stephens Day, or Wren Day. Irish Festivals explains :. Celtic myth had it that the robin that was suppose to represent the New Year killed the wren which represented the Old Year during this time. Originally, groups of small boys would hunt for a wren, and then chase the bird until they either have caught it or it has died from exhaustion. The dead bird was tied to the top of a pole or holly bush, which was decorated with ribbons or colored paper.
Acrobat Reader is needed for viewing and printing files. Best of all As I went out to hunt and all, I met a wren upon the wall, Up with me wattle and give him a fall, And brought him here to show you all. Music Notes, Inc. Teacher Tutorials. Download it here! Secure Online Payments. Additional Information Music Notes, Inc. The wren the wren, the king of all birds, Saint Stephen's Day was caught in the tree; Although he was little, his honor was great, Jump up, me lads, and give us a treat!
The Wren Song
Many years ago, all the birds of the world gathered to decide which of them would be the king of the birds. After many days of debate, they decided that they would hold a contest. Whichever bird could fly the highest would be the king of the birds. On the day of the competition, all the birds took off into the air.
Stephen's Day in a number of countries across Europe. The tradition consists of "hunting" a fake wren and putting it on top of a decorated pole. Then the crowds of mummers , or strawboys , celebrate the wren also pronounced wran  by dressing up in masks, straw suits, and colourful motley clothing. They form music bands and parade through towns and villages.