Mari Lwydd
Cultural Traditions
Mari Lwydd - A Welsh Tradition

The Mari Lwydd, or the Grey Mare, is an important and fearsome figure in Welsh wassailing traditions.

Cultural Origins

A challenge of wits lies at the center of the Welsh wassailing tradition. A band of characters including Punch and Judy and a Merryman musician travel door to door accompanying a fearsome folk figure Рa horse’s skull with snapping jaws clad in a long white sheet. As long as the householders can rhyme clever answers to the improvised verses and riddles posed by the Grey Mare and her troupe of mummers, they do not have to open their doors. But once they are outwitted, the door is opened and refreshments have to be provided.