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Old 01-11-2014, 05:27 PM
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Dizzy Dizzy is offline
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Default Crazy traditions. Welsh-o-philes might enjoy.

This is happening in my village tonight!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mari_Lwyd

The Mari Lwyd consists of a mare's skull (sometimes made of wood, or when the custom is followed by children, cardboard) fixed to the end of a wooden pole; a white sheet is fastened to the back of the skull, concealing the pole and the person carrying the Mari. Two black cloth ears may be sewn onto the cloth.[2] The eye sockets are often filled with green bottle-ends, or other coloured material. The lower jaw is sometimes spring-loaded, so that the Mari's 'operator' can snap it at passers-by or householders.[2] Coloured ribbons are usually fixed to the skull and small bells attached to the reins (if any) by which the Mari is led.

The Mari party (five or six men or boys) often had coloured ribbons and rosettes attached to their clothes, and sometimes wore a broad sash around the waist.[2] There was usually a "Leader", smartly dressed, who carried a staff or stick, or a whip, and sometimes other stock characters, such as the Merryman, who played music, and Punch and Judy (both played by men) with blackened faces; often brightly dressed, Punch carried a long metal poker and Judy had a besom broom.[4]

During the ceremony, the skull is carried through the streets of the village by the party; they stand in front of every house to sing traditional songs. The singing sometimes consists of a rhyme contest (pwnco or pwngco)[4] between the Mari party and the inhabitants of the house, who challenge each other with improvised verses (traditionally exchanged through the closed door); the contest could last for some time, until one side gave up.





Bit gutted I've missed it... The other half is out, so I didn't venture out I live in a VERY small village. And they all speak welsh... And I've only just realised what it was really and it's late and I'm in bed!!!! Next year!!
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:41 PM
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Haha, it reminds me a lot of the straw bear festival in Whittlesey that my uncle in Hertfordshire goes to every year.

http://www.strawbear.org.uk/

It's so weird!
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tortilla View Post
Haha, it reminds me a lot of the straw bear festival in Whittlesey that my uncle in Hertfordshire goes to every year.

http://www.strawbear.org.uk/

It's so weird!
Lots of weird pagan rituals lingering in the villages!!! I've seen photos of the straw man but never realised that's what it was, or where it was!

I think even Morris dancing has pagan history, and the May pole definitely does I'm sure!
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