Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1.  Straw scattered on the floor of St Sava’s Serbian Orthodox Church, Notting Hill, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Christmas Day (7 January 2022), said to be in remembrance of the stable in which Christ was born.

2.  People dress in some sort of straw costumes in west Kerry to celebration what is known locally as ‘the wran’, i.e. the wren.  This celebration takes place on St Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas Day. People dress in costume and parade down the street singing and performing.  Money is collected also.  This custom is still strong in west Kerry and across parts of Munster, but probably long gone in other parts of the country [National Botanic Garden, Glasnevin, Dublin, August 2014].

3.  At Xmas time people get a piece of straw from the crib and put it in their purse or wallet, and one should never be short of money [Maynooth, Co. Kildare, February 1991].

Images:  main, wheat (Triticum aestivum) straw, Bledlow, Buckinghamshire, September 2014; lower inset, Whittlesey (Cambridgeshire) straw bear in costume made of wheat straw, 14 January 2017.

See also Hay.