EP27 Mari Lwyd, the Welsh Christmas “Ghost Horse”: Secret history and folklore of the “bone horse” of Wales, a peculiar custom in which a horse’s skull disturbs people late at night for beer and cake
Dec 3rd, 2020
The Mari Lwyd is arguably the most well-known character in Welsh folklore.
But why do people carry a horse's skull door-to-door late at night, and challenge their neighbours to a battle in verse?
In a similar way to Krampus, the Central European "evil Santa", and Gryla, the Icelandic troll, this curious Christmas custom fascinates people around the world.
He looks at:
- What happens if the Mari Lwyd gains entry to your house, and how can you pacify it?
- Does the skull hide a much darker meaning, and could it really be known as the Grey Death?
- What connection does it have with Christianity and the Virgin Mary?
- Are its origins linked with ancient Celtic beliefs in death and rebirth?
- And most importantly - does it really terrify people just to get beer and cake?
Merry Christmas / Nadolig llawen!
Christmas on the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees podcast
Christmas is a magical time for Welsh folklore and ghost stories, and every Thursday during December there'll be a special episode of the podcast dedicated to a festive subject.
There include such folkloric favourites like the Mari Lwyd, haunted pubs where the spooks make an appearance every December 24, and even a magical Christmas Tree.
Be sure to check out each episode on December 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 - yes, there'll even be new episodes of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
What is the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees podcast?
The world’s first podcast dedicated to Welsh ghost stories, folklore, myths and legends, GHOSTS & FOLKLORE OF WALES combines Mark’s research and insights from his books and articles with long-lost tales from some ancient tomes into a truly unique podcast experience.
New episodes are uploaded every Thursday, and feature everything from real-life encounters with pesky poltergeists to the fantastical beasts from the Mabinogion,
Be sure to subscribe, and for more details and to get in touch with Mark Rees, please visit: