A Man Watching a Fairy Party, Fairies in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Efenechtyd Wales
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Category: Fairies
Sub Category: Fairy Dances
Title: A Man Watching a Fairy Party


A man named Mr Evan Davies had a friend named John Morris, who told him that he had seen a company of Fairies dancing and that they were the handsomest men and women that he had ever seen.  It was night and dark but the place on which the dance took place was strangely illuminated, so that every movement of the singular beings could be observed, but when the Fairies disappeared it became suddenly quite dark.|Although from the tales already given it would appear that the Fairies held revelry irrespective of set times of meeting, still it was thought that they had special days for their great banquets, and the eve of the first of May, old style, was one of these days, and another was Nos Wyl Ifan, St. John’s Eve, or the evening of June 23rd.|Thus sings Glasynys, in Y Brython, vol. iii. p. 270:—|Nos Wyl Ifan.| Tylwyth Têg yn lluoedd llawen,O dan nodded tawel Dwynwen,Welir yn y cêl encilion,Yn perori mwyn alawon,Ac yn taenu hyd y twyni,Ac ar leiniau’r deiliog lwyni,Hud a Lledrith ar y glesni,Ac yn sibrwd dwyfol desni!|I am indebted to my friend Mr Richard Williams, F.R.H.S., Newtown, Montgomeryshire, for the following translation of the preceding Welsh lines:—|The Fairy Tribe in merry crowds,Under Dwynwen’s calm protection, Are seen in shady retreats,Chanting sweet melodies,And spreading over the bushes,And the leafy groves,Illusion and phantasy on all that is green,And whispering their mystic lore.|May-day dances and revelling have reached our days, and probably they have, like the Midsummer Eve’s festivities, their origin in the far off times when the Fairy Tribe inhabited Britain and other countries, and to us have they bequeathed these Festivals, as well as that which ushers in winter, and is called in Wales, Nos glan gaua, or All Hallow Eve. If so, they have left us a legacy for which we thank them, and they have also given us a proof of their intelligence and love of nature.


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