Wednesday, January 16, 2008

In Preparation-For Information

On Saturday is the big Two Rivers Festivals at Chepstow. Altough it has nothing directly to do with Catholicism, the Mari Lwyd will be making a wassailing appearance-with the horses head and everything. There is a website dedicated to the event.
Afternoon:Children's Mari Ceremony from the Welsh School in Chepstow.
Early Evening is the meeting of the English on the Chepstow Bridge, who are then invited to take part in the Mari Jollifications.
Main Mari Lwyd Ceremony is at Chepstow Castle at 8. All details on their website. You will remember this is a bit of a hybrid custom, the linking of a horses head with jaws which clank shut quite frighteningly whilst going around peoples doors at Christmastide requesting money in song, and challenging house owners to sing back. One of my podcast dealt with the origins, the Mediaeval Mass and celebration of Mary at Christmas (Mari Lwyd, (Grey Mary) actually meaning 'Venerable Mary'in that sense. This custom was stopped when the Tudors founded their own church. So the people went around singing special carols, but using a horses head, harkening back to earlier customs, celebrating Rhiannon the horse goddess who carried the souls of the dead into the next world. When the Saxons came they also added the Wassailing tradition, so the pagan custom is also celebrated here as bits of toast soaked in cider are hung on an apple tree for a good harvest and cider poured onto apple tree roots as an 'offering' for a good harvest! Waste of good cider!! This Saturday 19th Jan. New Podcast andpost coming soon about Pater Ishow of Nant Mair in the Golden Valley!

No comments: