The 17th-century Welsh cultural celebration took place at our Llwyn y Bryn, Tycoch and Gorseinon campuses, as a flash-performance of the Mari Lwyd horse made its way through the sites.
Mari Lwyd (Y Fari Lwyd in Welsh meaning Old Grey Mare), is traditionally a New Year celebration to pass the marking of the dark days of winter and welcome the spring. Once celebrated across Wales, it’s now a tradition associated with south and south-east of the country.
“We have been extremely fortunate to welcome the Mari Lwyd to College. As well as being a visual feast, the public performance caused an intrigue about our Welsh heritage and culture.” Anna Davies, Welsh Manager said. “I am thankful to our Art & Design Technician, David Pitt for organising the events, and for his wealth of knowledge and creativity in putting on such a display”.
What is the Mari Lwyd tradition?
The Mari Lwyd (Y Fari Lwyd in Welsh meaning Grey Mare), is a Welsh midwinter tradition, often to celebrate New Year.
The Mari Lwyd consists of a wooden or cardboard mare’s skull on a stick, which is carried by a person and covered with a white sheet. It is decorated with ribbons and small bells.
The Mari Lwyd forms part of a group which makes its way in ceremony through the streets of the local community, calling at pubs and houses where they break into traditional dancing and song.
Sometimes, the jaw of the skull is spring loaded so that the operator can ‘snap’ it at passers-by, trying to frighten them and causing some humour and havoc.
Find out more about our Welsh Language activities.