Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy "Mari Lwyd," or New Year to You!



HAPPY NEW YEAR, or Mari Lwyd, as in the Welsh tradition, from a crusty old Welsh dame--me. LOL! As usual I stayed up as long as I could (10:30 pm!) last night, then got up at 5:00 am without an alarm. Yeah, I'm of that age, I suppose.

I just thought I'd share a New Year's tradition from the Welsh, the country of my forefathers and the setting for some of my medieval romance novels, including my next release this April, HIS CAPTIVE PRINCESS. 

New Year's Day is the day in which Mari Lwyd or Grey Mare day is celebrated.

Mari Lwyd (photo by Andy Dingle
It's a bit frightening, but in some parts, the Welsh still follow the old ritual of visiting door-to-door (often pubs) with a fellow wearing a sheet and a horse's head!!! Participants sing, hoping to gain access to the house and be rewarded with food and drink. 

The ritual is ancient, said to have begun by worshippers of the Celtic goddess Rhiannon and has continued throughout the centuries. 

The start of the ritual often takes place Christmas week, a bit like wassailing, but begins around 2pm on New Year's Day in some parts of Wales. 

Um, I'm not sure I'd let any drunken singers into my house, especially if they were in possession of a horse's skull, but who knows? I'm all about extending the holiday season if it involves wassail!

Either way, Happy New Year's, everyone!

--Sandra

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