London Mari Lwyd 2019

Join us on Friday 11 January 2019 in central London to celebrate for a traditional Welsh new year celebration including a pub crawl, a horse's skull, Welsh songs and a twmpath (Welsh ceilidh).

We will perform the Mari Lwyd songs at some pubs (no rehearsal necessary!) and will end the evening with more singing and some Welsh twmpath (ceilidh) dancing.

7pm The Boot (TBC)

7.45pm The Harrison

8.30pm The Calthorpe Arms

9pm London Welsh Centre

Parts of the evening will take place in Welsh but the event is suitable for everyone regardless or your fluency in Welsh or confidence at singing! The event is free of charge. Join the event on Facebook to let us know you're coming.

What is a Mari Lwyd?

Mari Lwyd is Welsh for 'Grey Mare'. As part of the Mari Lwyd tradition the Mari is usually made from a horse's skull decorated with glass lightbulbs for eyes and ribbons for a mane. She is led along her route by a 'hwsmon' who invariably fails to stop her from causing mischief wherever she goes.

What happens at a traditional Mari Lwyd event?

Originally Mari and her party would visit people's homes on 13 January as the people of Gwent refused to recognise the change from the Gregorian to the Julian calendar. When the Mari's party arrived at a house a witty improvised sing-off would occur between the party and the family inside. The Mari's party would always win and so they would get let into the house to wish a happy new year to the family and to enjoy their hospitality.

What happens at the London Mari Lwyd event?

Our London event follows the 21st century tradition of visiting pubs instead of houses and song-sheets were provided for those not wishing to improvise lyrics! We performed the Mari Lwyd songs at each of the pubs and end the evening with more singing and some Welsh twmpath (ceilidh) dancing at the London Welsh Centre on Greys Inn Road.