Palm Sunday (Sul y Blodau), which is the start of Easter, traditionally sees two palm leaves made into crosses.

This activity keeps busy the Roman Catholic ladies of Barry who make them.

The association of palms with Jesus is related to the waving of palms to greet Jesus as he entered the city of Jerusalem.

It’s said that in the Barry cemetery and others, you should visit the graves of loved ones. You must pamper the graves, give them a good clean, weed them and assemble the most colourful display of of flowers, which traditionally may include rosemary, crocuses, daffodils and primroses.

A service of members of Barry’s Roman Catholic Church community from St. Helen’s would start at the church, then walk up to the Barry cemetery waving palm leaves with great jollity.

A sing-song at the graves being tendered would then occur, although this practice ended in the mid-1990s.

Blessing the graves is seen as a preparation for the coming of the following Easter weekend. Also Sul y Blodau (Sunday of Flowers) may represent the coming of light seen through flowers after a drab winter.

Maundy Thursday – among other services of celebration in churches in the Barry area – still sees an interesting practice at the Roman Catholic church St. Helen’s.

Some 12 men in the church, representing the 12 apostles of Jesus, would have their feet washed by the priest from a bowl held by the alter boys.

Good Friday is not a day to be found at work or start a new job – particularly if you are a farmer.

In medieval times, to be found at the plough was considered bad luck. Even going out into the garden to turn the earth is a portent of doom.

If you use a sewing needle, and you are very suspicious, best to leave those repairs to that shirt for another day, for on Good Friday, your house will be hit by lightening.

Being a sailor in Barry before the construction of the dock in 1884, Good Friday was far from an ideal day to go out to sea. But if this was unavoidable, and your lovely wife has just baked some bread, be mindful not to leave that loaf behind. The bread was said to have turned sour if left behind, having been baked on such a holy day, but equally not forgetting it was said to bring good luck, as it was supposed to protect against disaster at sea.

On Easter Sunday, it is said that after morning church service the last man to have been married would be accompanied to the highest point of the parish, by as many of the congregation as could be mustered.

The men in the melee would carry a branch of gorse, and the newly married man would address his merry band.

He would order that all men under 60 years of age were to get up and dressed before 6 am the next day, while those under 40 should be presentable at 4 am.

Those under 20 were not to sleep, and be presentable in the main street throughout Easter Monday morning.

Anyone found to ignore these orders was to be placed into the stocks, before being administered with a handful of strokes using the gorse branch.

Between each stroke he would be asked a number of questions, and if untruthful in the response, more strokes administered. This tradition continued in Glamorgan until the 1840s.

Plastic duck racing as it is today seems as much a tradition of Easter life as any other tradition was in the distant past, despite having only been around since the 1940s.

But at Llancarfan Primary school, this was alas a short-lived event, and with the closure of the school his tradition may too fade into history.

Finally, children were encouraged to watch the sunrise on Easter Sunday, for it was said that if they did so, the sun would dance for them to honour the resurrection of Jesus.

Many thanks to Michelle Harrhy and Jean Balmont for their research assistance.