Egg Clapping Tradition

Egg Clapping

Parent & Teacher Guidance
Egg Clapping

Going egg clapping before Easter was a popular tradition among children in Anglesey many years ago.

According to Elen Parry who was born in Gaerwen in 1895:

We would usually have an hour or two off school, maybe a day or two before the school would close so that we could go clapping before Easter. Your father would have made you what we would call a ”clapper”. And what was that? A piece of wood with two more pieces either side so that it would “clap”, and that’s what a “clapper” was.

The children would travel around local farms or any homestead that kept chickens. They would knock on the door, shake their clappers and recite a short rhyme similar to this one:

Clap, clap, os gwelwch chi’n dda ga’i wy
Clap, clap, please may I have an egg
Geneth fychan (neu fachgen bychan) ar y plwy’
Young girl (or young boy) on the parish

And here’s another version of the rhyme from Huw D. Jones, Gaerwen:

Clep, Clep dau wy
Clap, Clap, two eggs
Bachgen bach ar y plwy’
Young boy on the parish

The door would be opened and the occupier would ask “And who do you belong to?” After the children had answered, they would each receive an egg. The inhabitants of the home would usually recognise the children and if a brother or sister was missing, they would place an extra egg in the basket for siblings.

Eggs on the Dresser

Having returned home, the children would give their mother the eggs and she would place them on the dresser. The eldest child’s egg would be placed on the top shelf, the second eldest’s egg on the second shelf and so on.

With plenty of energy and determination, an impressive haul of eggs could be had. Joseph Hughes, born in Beaumaris in 1880 and recorded by National Museum Wales in 1959 remembers:

Some would be quite brazen-faced and would have been clapping solidly throughout the week. They would have a hundred and twenty eggs. I remember asking my wife’s brother, “Did you go clapping, Wil?”, “Well, yes”, he said. “How well did you do?”, “Oh, I only got a hundred and fifty”.


A dresser is a substantial piece of furniture found in many cultures throughout Europe, where they typically take pride of place in the main living room.
A homestead is a house and surrounding land owned by a family and often includes a farmhouse and outbuildings.
The sharing of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.
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