Wednesday, December 14
9 Bonaventure Avenue
Free on-site parking
“Up with the kettle and down with the pan
And give us a penny to bury the wren”
The wren is just one of several Christmastime house-visiting traditions that continues here today. Typically, children or adults will visit homes within their community carrying around an effigy of a small bird—the wren. Upon visiting a home, they usually recite a poem declaring the wren the “King of All Birds” and may offer some kind of performance, be it
song, joke, or recitation. Often the host will
offer up food, drink, or money for the visit.
Unlike other house-visiting traditions, there
are no disguises involved.
In this public forum, meet some of the people
who are keeping this tradition alive in Newfoundland
& Labrador. Come learn about the history of the wren
tradition and how it’s happening today.
The wren, the wren,
The king of all birds.
St. Stephen’s Day he was caught in the furze.
Although he was little,
His honour was great.
Rise up kind lady and give us a treat.
Up with the kettle,
And down with the pan.
Give us a penny to bury the wren.
A pocketful of money,
And a cellar full of cheer.
And we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
—as recited by Dennis Flynn
Wren stick image courtesy Dennis Flynn