December 26 is the feast day of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
Legend has it that St. Stephen’s hiding place was betrayed by the chattering of a wren.For centuries, the feast day has been recalled in Ireland by the “Wren boys,” who dress in motley clothing, marching from house to house to collect money for a party for the whole town or village, and sometimes to support a charity.
Traditionally, they exacted their vengeance on the unfortunate bird by carrying a wren aloft on a stick—hunted down in the old days, but for years (mercifully) a toy bird.
One way to celebrate the day is by creating a colorful wren hat. Shannon Lambert-Ryan, with help from her eager assistant Liam de Barra, show you how in this video, a special edition of their Baking with Babies series. (Hint: It’s not just for babies!)
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Philadelphia-Delaware Valley is sponsoring a contest for the best wren hat. There’s a category for adults, another for kids, and another for the submission that comes from the farthest away. The grand prize in each category is a $50 gift card.
To enter, e-mail a picture of yourself wearing your hat to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon ET on December 26. Judging takes place that afternoon, with winners announced later that day.
Let the competition begin!