Celebrating the Mari Lwyd Tradition
This year the Mentrau Iaith are raising awareness of ancient Welsh traditions including the Mari Lwyd. As part of the campaign, Stomp Y Fari Lwyd will be held online to celebrate Hen Galan, the old Welsh new year, on January 12th, 2021.
Y Fari Lwyd is the skull of a horse which has been decorated with colourful ribbons and a white sheet. To celebrate that the darkest days of the year are over and that spring is on the horizon, Y Fari Lwyd will travel around homes and pubs to persuade the earth to wake from the deep sleep of winter. To raise awareness of this tradition the Mentrau Iaith have created an entertaining video, thanks to a collaboration with Hunaniaith (Menter Iaith Gwynedd), and a fun activity pack for children. This campaign is part of a series of activities following collaboration between the Mentrau Iaith network nationally.
Heledd ap Gwynfor, Mentrau Iaith Cymru Partnerships Co-ordinator, says;
“For a number of months now a team of officers from the Mentrau Iaith have been working together to discuss and develop ideas. As a result of these meetings, we have organised campaigns to raise community awareness of our ancient Welsh traditions, including Welsh Halloween legends, the Plygain and now the Mari Lwyd. By sharing information about these colourful and interesting rituals we hope to introduce the traditions to a new audience and inspire the people of Wales to find out more about our identity.”
An important part of the Mari Lwyd ritual is the Pwnco – singing verses on a doorstep to gain access to a house or pub. With this not possible this year, Stomp Y Fari Lwyd will be an opportunity for the public to participate in the Pwnco online. If you would like to compete, all you have to do is write up to four verses to the tune of ‘Wel dyma ni’n dwad‘ and send a video of yourself performing them to your local Menter Iaith by January the 5th. 9 lucky entrants will be chosen to go on to compete in the Stomp y Fari Lwyd led by stompmasters Anni Llŷn and Tudur Phillips.