Prepare for your Ceredigion Christmas from mid November as local businesses and communities dress for Christmas with Christmas lights,wreaths and colourful displays brightening up town and country alike. You'll find Christmas Fairs being held in village halls across Ceredigion with stalls stacked with goodies handmade locally by craftmakers and cooks.
Ffabl - magical Christmas lights and lanterns
Ffabl (Welsh for Fable) is a new lantern and light festival at Cardigan Castle. Experience the magic of Christmas and encounter creatures and heroes sh mythology as you wander through scenes from Wales’ legends, the Mabinogion
Classic Christmas performances and panto merriment
Christmas wouldn't be complete without a trip to the theatre. Theatr Mwldan and Aberystwyth Arts Centre bring live broadcasts of ballet and opera performances from the Royal Opera House in London and the New York Met. Theatr Felinfach weaves classic pantomime capers with local stories and contemporary issues, performed in Welsh by the local community, whilst Victoria Hall in Lampeter hosts a classic touring panto. To draw the season to a spectacular end Aberystwyth Arts Centre's Wardens present a fortnight run of slapstick comedy and great songs.
Christmas Music and carols
Opera, pop, jazz, rock 'n' roll, Elizabethan Madrigals as well as Christmas carols form an eclectic Ceredigion Christmas music programme.
Amgueddfa Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth hosts Aber Opera's Winter Concert and popular local bands and entertainers for a feast of music, fun and games in December.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre hosts concerts by Aberystwyth's award winning symphony orchestra, Philomusica's and The University's Elizabethan Madrigal choir, whilst Christmas wouldn't be complete without a performance of Bach's Christmas Oratorio by the Aberystwyth Choral Society with the Sinfonia Cambrensis.
Everyone is invited to join in the annual charity singalong led by popular Aberystwyth mixed choir Sgarmes.
Visitors are welcome to join in Christmas services across the county. One of the most picturesque locations in the country to experience a candle-lit service on Christmas Eve is Holy Cross church at Mwnt. There are Christmas carol services St Mary's church in Cardigan, St Padarn's in Llanbadarn Fawr and at the beginning of December St Michael's Church in Aberystwyth holds a Stable Trail, complete with donkey rides, followed each Sunday up until Christmas by carol services.
Plygain is a traditional Welsh Christmas service and the carols are very different from the usual English Christmas carol tradition. There will be no programme set out before hand and no one leads the service as soloists, groups and even choirs take turns to sing traditional carols without accompaniment. This unique Welsh language tradition can be experienced at St John the Baptist church in Penrhyncoch, near Aberystwyth.
Christmas Craft Fairs
There are craft fairs held in arts and village halls across Ceredigion from Mid November through to last week before Christmas.
Pafiliwn Cymru at Pontrhydfendigaid holds an annual fair where you'll find local, established and new crafts and Christmas treats, while the Lampeter Campus of the University of Wales Trinity St David's hosts a Christmas Fair with music and food.
Llanerchaeron is the beautiful setting for the weekend long Christmas Fair held on the first weekend in December. Stalls are packed with handmade gifts, food and decorations.
Cardigan Castle is the magical setting for its ever popular Christmas Fair, with over 40 stalls within the Georgian villa and the garden pavilion. Visit Santa's Grotto or enjoy a warming cup of mulled wine.
There's late night shopping at the National Library of Wales during their Christmas Fair and at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, throughout December there are over 50 stalls displaying crafts, food and gifts. The Centre is open daily, and into the evening on weekdays.
Aberystwyth Farmers market has a special Christmas market on two weekends in the run up to Christmas - the place to get the best locally produced Christmas food and drink.
Late opening and free parking
Ceredigion's towns have a range of interesting independent shops, and its a pleasure to explore on and off the high street outlets. Discover Aberystwyth's hidden gems on the Christmas Treasure Hunt around town.
Lighting the town Christmas tree and lights is usually accompanied by late night opening, special fairs and markets, parades and music. Santa has been invited to attend the festivities in several places too.
Although Father's Christmas will have a big sleigh full of presents to distribute, he won't have to worry about parking for his Christmas shopping as Ceredigion Council car parks are free of charge on the three Saturdays in the run up to Christmas.
Christmas trees, wreaths and treats
Love that special fresh smell of a real Christmas tree?
You can source a beautiful tree to decorate that has been grown locally in the Cambrian Mountains or the slopes of the Teifi valley. There's a choice of size and type - fir, spruce or pine.
Natural and sustainable materials are used to create Christmas decorations in workshops with Make it in Wales at Studio 3 in Cardigan or with the National Trust at Llanerchaeron and Newman's Garden Centre near Aberystwyth.