Thursday, 8 December 2016

Christmas Countdown and Traditions Day Eight

Hello Friends!

It is hard to believe we've been doing this for a week now and Christmas is just two and a half weeks away ~~~ how time flies ~~~ and here is the eighth image on the Advent Calendar ~~~

Today's Christmas Tradition is about the Welsh tradition of Mari Lwyd or Grey Mare/Mary. It is quite scary and not particularly Christmassy in my opinion, but I believe in looking at all manner of traditions to share with you.

This tradition is primarily found in South Wales and is a wassailing folk tradition involving the use of an eponymous "hobby horse" which is made from the skull of a real horse and a sheet which covers an individual responsible for carrying the pole~mounted skull while remaining hidden beneath the sheet.

The Mari Lwyd is accompanied by a group {of men} who take the mare around the village trying to gain entry to various households through the medium of song.  They will be repeatedly refused entry by the householders who will come up with excuses why the Mari Lwyd cannot gain entry, the men will try again and again, only to be refused each time. This is called pwnco and continues until the householders finally run out of excuses and entry is gained, whereupon the party receives food and drink and the merriment continues.

As you might guess, with a tradition such as this {which is ancient and has many ties to other celebrations and traditions} much has been written and if you would like to read more, and see some images of the {quite frightening, in my opinion} Mari Lwyd you can do so here.

Until next time ~~~
~~~Deborah xoxo


  1. That's a weird one!
    Wassailing -yes
    Horses skull .........scary, glad that didn't get to Suffolk.

  2. As with most ancient traditions, you used what you had available. Horse's skull? Interesting---but with merriment in the end. I'll check out the link if I dare. Have a wonderful day Deb. xoxo ♥

    1. I find it all rather disturbing but it is a Welsh Christmas tradition, and weird or not it is interesting. I'm sure it is loved by small children!

  3. Oh, skulls of any kind scare me. I think I will pass on this link. :-) Isn't it interesting how traditions start? I am glad they got something to eat and drink in the end...but they can keep the skull! lol

    Love and hugs,

    1. I don't like skulls either, not one bit. They give me the heebie jeebies but I had to brave it for this as it is an important part of Welsh traditions.
      Love, Deb xoxo

  4. I agree, Deb, it does seem strange and a bit (bit?!) unrelated to Christmas. I suspect probably pagan ritual roots seems the most logical explanation, don't you think; or just some lunatic wanting to scare people! But definitely interesting! I read the link! And I learned something new! Some go to great lengths to create a rather elaborate Mari Lywd. The scariest part would be the moving jaws!! I do imagine some children would find it great fun! Thanks for sharing!! xoxo


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