Mari Lwyd Lantern Parade at Pennard

Mari Lwyd Lantern Parade at Pennard

Once again, we will be holding our Mari Lwyd Lantern Parade on Wednesday 6 December. Please note, we're starting a little earlier this year, at 6pm from Pennard Playing Fields on Park Road. There'll also be free lantern making workshops in the weeks leading up to the parade.

Everyone is invited to join us in lighting up the streets of Pennard. You can join the parade or place your lanterns in your garden to light our way. Or you can just come and watch!

Lantern Making Workshops:

The workshops will be held in Pennard in the run up to the big night, where all the materials are provided free of charge. Just drop in when you can:

Wed 15 Nov 9am-1pm - Pennard Community Hall
Wed 22 Nov 9am-1pm - Pennard Community Hall
Wed 22 Nov 3.30pm-4.30pm - Pennard Library
Wed 29 Nov 9am-1pm - Pennard Community Hall
Wed 29 Nov 3.30pm-4.30pm - Pennard Library

The history of the Mari Lwyd:

Many, many years ago, during the longest and darkest of winter nights, a strange beast roamed the villages of South Wales. It went by the name of Mari Lwyd, meaning White Mare.

This mare had seen better days though. In fact, just the skull remained.
Every year the locals dug up the same skull from its farmyard grave and brought it to life with ribbons and decoration. Underneath the skull, would stand a man covered by a white sheet, holding the skull up on a frame, moving the jaw bone like a ventriloquist.

Elements of today’s “trick or treaters” and carol singers mimic the procession of people that followed the Mari Lwyd through the streets. They would knock on doors, and ask to be let in for some seasonal cheer, in the form of food and drink, of course. There would be much banter, singing and a battle of wits that the mare had to win, before they were let over the threshold.

On the night:

Today, there are very few Mari Lwyds surviving, but with the help of David Pitt, a local Mari enthusiast, and Gower Landscape Partnership, we are keeping the tradition alive.   Please gather at Park Road Playing Fields with your lanterns, where the parade will start at 6pm.  Led by the Mari Lwyd, we will make our way through the village, ending at Three Cliffs Coffee Shop where there'll be festive music provided by the Swansea Salvation Army Band at Choristers.

If you need any more information, please email dominic.rye@nationaltrust.org.uk or ring 01792 390636