Plygain 2020

For those interested in Plygain, this may be of interest:


I’ve not heard the word plygain before sorry, what is it?

It’s a Welsh Christmas church service, characterised by soloists and parties singing Welsh carols, usually unaccompanied.

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You can find some on Youtube. Technically, I believe, it means Cock-crow, and used to be a ‘carol service’ sung in the very early hours of Christmas Day. As the number of churches and chapels decreased the season for plygain services has lengthened, and in previous years would last about 6 weeks around Christmas time, start of December til mid January? There are a few still early on Christmas Day, but most are in the afternoon or evening nowadays. (I’ll come and sing at your service if you come and sing at mine). Individuals, family groups, church/chapel choirs sing, un-accompanied. The congregation don’t applaud as it’s a worship service not a concert. Traditionally there is little in the way of an order of service and the leader of the service asks who would like to begin, and an individual/group comes to the front and sings a song. And then the next and then the next, until everyone who wants to sing has done so. And then they start all over again, until everyone who wants to sing has done so. The trick is to have several songs up your sleeve because you don’t sing a song that someone else has already sung. There’s almost always sandwiches. cake and tea afterwards.


Thank you both, sounds lovely

Re the sandwiches and cakes, yes, there really should be some, as the last carol to be sung is usually the Carol y Swper, which talks about the table being laid (and Christ’s sufferings, in a weird mix of subjects - at least that’s what I’ve been told, my Welsh isn’t up to checking yet!).

Wikipedia has quite a bit of info on the plygain, Welsh Wikipedia even more.

There will be two Plygain services online. The first will be at 6pm on Sunday 20 December and the second at 6pm on Sunday 3 January.

• Facebook event for the Plygain online service: - join in and share!


Here’s a Wikipedia link explaining all about the origins of Plygain -

I absolutely adore this. So pleased to have been introduced to plygain.

More info on the online Plygain Services - first one coming up tomorrow!

There won’t be an opportunity to sing Plygain carols in churches and chapels this year. So a small group of people interested in the tradition are hoping to organise an online Plygain.

As over 20 individuals and groups have registered to contribute a carol we will be holding two online Plygain services.

The first will be at 6pm on Sunday 20 December. The second will be at 6pm on Sunday 3 January.

The services will be an opportunity for us to come together as a community and also to show the world our unique tradition.

The Virtual Plygain will be available to watch on Mentrau Iaith Cymru’s Facebook page and Trac’s YouTube on 20/12/2020 and 03/01/2021 at 18:00.

For more information about the Plygain tradition see the website:

Just watched this programme about Plygain 2020 style. Introduced by Angharad Jenkins of Calan. Yn y Gymraeg. Available until 31st January. Possibly not available outside the UK.