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New Year in South Wales

11th January 2018

THE MARI LWYD (in Welsh, Y Fari Lwyd) is one of the strangest and most ancient of a number of customs with which people in Glamorgan and Gwent used to mark the passing of the darkest days of midwinter.
From this time on, the days get longer as spring approaches. All these festivals and customs reflect man's awe at nature's annual miracle of death and rebirth. That's why evergreens like the holly and the ivy are such a feature of the season... and why a dead horse mysteriously comes back to life.
From this time on, the days get longer as spring approaches. All these festivals and customs reflect man's awe at nature's annual miracle of death and rebirth. That's why evergreens like the holly and the ivy are such a feature of the season... and why a dead horse mysteriously comes back to life.
 Here is a recent example of the animal, here in Cowbridge,and the going on at the Duke Pub last week.
Mari Lwyd at The Duke Cowbridge
The Mari Lwyd is unique to this part of Wales. In its purest form (still to be seen at Llangynwyd, near Maesteg, every New Year's Day) the tradition involves the arrival of the horse and its party at the door of the house or pub, where they sing several introductory verses. Then comes a battle of wits (pwnco) in which the people inside the door and the Mari party outside exchange challenges and insults in rhyme. At the end of the battle, which can be as long as the creativity of the two parties holds out, the Mari party enters with another song.
The pubs of Cowbridge are proud to host the animal, and much fun is had by all.
 Happy New Year a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Thanks to Jonathan Baker for image.All tegh money raised by the fun and games were donated to Ty Hafan,  or local Childrens Hospice.

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