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The Mari Lwyd by FlyingViperArt The Mari Lwyd by FlyingViperArt

Y Mari Lwyd is a strange Welsh custom originating in the regions of Glamorgan and Gwent in South Wales, used to mark the passing of the darkest days of midwinter. The custom of dressing in a white sheet adorned with the decorated horse skull is unique to this part of Wales. It can still be seen parading the streets at Llangynwyd, near Maesteg, every New Year's Day. The people taking part would call at local houses and sing songs to gain entry; the householder would be expected to deny entry at first before relenting and inviting everyone in for food and drink.

The puppet consists of a horse's skull decorated with ribbons affixed to a pole; to the back of the skull is attached a white sheet, which drapes down to conceal both the pole and the individual. In some instances, the horse's jaw was able to open and close as a result of string or lever.

Folklorists have debated that the term meant "Holy Mary" and thus was a reference to the Virgin Mary, while others believe it simply means "Grey Mare", referring to the heads' equine skull. It turns out the tradition of Y Fari Lwyd has ancient pre-Christian origins, In Celtic Britain; the horse was believed to be a symbol of power, fertility and prowess on the battlefield. Many believed these animals had the ability to cross between this world and the otherworld.

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Welsh Monsters and Mythical Beasts Series:
Y Gwyllgi by FlyingViperArt Llamhigyn Y Dwr by FlyingViperArtThe Dragons of Dinas Emrys by FlyingViperArtCwn Annwn by FlyingViperArtThe Gwiber of Penmachno by FlyingViperArt

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:iconmephman:
MephMan Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2018
nice job
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:iconflyingviperart:
FlyingViperArt Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2018  Professional General Artist
:) 
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:iconimportautumn:
ImportAutumn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Great :)
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:iconflyingviperart:
FlyingViperArt Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015  Professional General Artist
:)
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:iconimportautumn:
ImportAutumn Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
:)
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:icondlambeaut:
dlambeaut Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting folklore background to your beautiful drawing.
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:iconflyingviperart:
FlyingViperArt Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thanks :) x
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:iconskullkidross:
SkullKidRoss Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015
Ooh, you've added some sweet effects on this version :3 It's also cool to learn more about Welsh customs. Seems I know shockingly little ^^;
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:iconflyingviperart:
FlyingViperArt Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015  Professional General Artist
I hadn't heared of this one untill someone told me about it :) instantly fell in love with the idea XP and had to draw it! Xx
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:iconskullkidross:
SkullKidRoss Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015
It is a pretty cool idea x3
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:iconcrisisenvy:
CrisisEnvy Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I heard about this during an Archaeology lecture in Newport University about 15 years ago. There was a revival in Trelech, Gwent for a few years I think. Very interesting! Lovely illustration!:D (Big Grin) 
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:iconflyingviperart:
FlyingViperArt Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015  Professional General Artist
Awsome :) They still do it! I'd love to go watch some day Xx
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Submitted on
November 3, 2015
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