If you braved the spooky Ceredigion dark on a late October evening and made it to the oasis that is Rhiannon Welsh Gold Centre in Tregaron, you’ll have had a ‘wail’ of a time for Calan Gaeaf.

Band Jem played live folk music from the balcony and the mead, wine and hot cider flowed all night on Saturday, 28 October.

There were homemade apple and Welsh cakes and a modern twist on the traditional Stwmp 9 rhyw, more delicate samosa than nine vegetable mash! Toasted cheese, which makes it into many a traditional Halloween celebration, went down well with some local ale and guests were treated to folk dancing.

Later, Rhiannon Evans and gothic author Jane Blank, writer of the Nanteos novels, introduced the company to some of the strange and sometimes comic traditions surrounding the celebration of Calan Gaeaf, the most important of all the spirit festivals, through the ages.

Rhiannon Evans and Jane Blank
Rhiannon Evans and Jane Blank (Picture supplied)

Many of the visitors that night were local, but there was the gentle hum of spontaneous translation into French at the back of the atrium during the presentations and some had travelled from Cardiff to be there.

No guest left empty handed and there were gifts of Celtic design coasters and bags of apples for all.