Okay, here’s a weird one for you.
What do you get when you cross a horse’s skull, a bedsheet, and a book of Dr. Seuss?
Well, the Welsh get Mari Lwyd.
Mari Lwyd is definitely what you’d call a party animal. The “Gray Mare” is a bedazzled horse’s skull that’s carried around on a pole, the bearer being hidden under a white sheet. Mari Lwyd and her entourage go from house to house (or from pub to pub, because booze) singing Christmas carols and being generally rowdy. When Mari Lwyd shows up at the door, her posse and the folks inside have an insult contest in rhyme — a “yo mamma” fight brought to you by Dr. Seuss. No matter who wins, Mari Lwyd is invited into the house (or the pub, because BOOZE). The theory is that she is so disturbing that evil spirits are freaked out just by looking at her, and vacate the premises.
In Celtic Britain, the horse was a symbol of power and fertility. White or gray horses were thought to have the power to cross between this world and the next. So the Gray Mare, dressed in white with ribbons and spangles decorating her skull, returns from the Underworld at the turning of the year. She brings luck to any place she enters, in keeping with the Christmas spirit.
For more Christmas monsters, check out Spirits of Christmas, available online at Barnes and Noble and at Amazon. And possibly other places too.
And hop on over to http://darrenmarlar.com/2017/11/28/twelve-nightmares-christmas/ for more holiday happenings. Today Darren brings you “The Aircraft Carrier Glory“, “Number 149 Squadron” (one of my personal favorites!!!), “Back Already?”, “Told You So”, “Dear Theodosia”, and “Last Wishes”. If you like what you hear, you can always subscribe to the Weird Darkness podcast, to get more dark weirdness forever! Visit www.weirddarkness.com to subscribe.