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Friday, December 26, 2014
Traditionalists Undeterred by Poor Weather on St Stephen's Day
Undeterred by poor weather, many
people gathered at various venues across the Island to perform Hunt the Wren,
which still forms part of the St Stephen's Day (Boxing Day) celebrations on the
Isle of Man.
Singers, musicians and dancers
dusted down their wren poles and braved the rain to continue this long held
Manx tradition and collect money for a number of local charities.
This was followed by the annual
game of Cammag, once celebrated as a widespread national sport on the Isle of
Man, but nowadays only played on the old fair field at Tynwald Hill in the village of St John's. With similarities to hockey,
hurling and shinty, the game is playedwith a cammag (hooked stick) and a ball (crick) made with cork or wood
and covered in cloth, or leather. Not a game for the faint-hearted, both sides
(representing the north and south of the Island) have an unlimited number of
players of both sexes and play a game of three halves, each of twenty minutes duration.
The term 'cammag leg' historically describeda lame person. Despite its Island wide
popularity the game lost favour with the introduction of football around the
turn of the twentieth century.
Hardy players and spectators
headed later for the Tynwald Inn,to
shake off the relentless rain and enjoy a lively music session with some of the
Island's best known traditional musicians.