Mari Lwyd Lantern Parade at Pennard

Mari Lwyd Lantern Parade at Pennard

Following on from the success of our previous parades, this year’s Mari Lwyd will be held on Wednesday 14th December, starting at Pennard Playing Fields on Park Road, at 6.30pm. 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:

Sat 26 Nov 09.00 -13.00 - Pennard Community Hall
Wed 30 Nov 10.00 -12.00 - Pennard Library
Wed 30 Nov 14.00 -16.00 - Community Café, Pennard Community Hall
Wed 07 Dec 10.00 -12.00 - Pennard Library
Wed 07 Dec 14.00 -16.00 - Community Café, Pennard Community Hall

Sat 10 Dec 09.00 - 13.00 - Pennard Community Hall

You can also pick up a free DIY kit from Pennard Library and Pennard Stores.

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.

The Mari Lwyd today:

Mari Lwyd Parade musicians at Pennard
Mari Lwyd Parade musicians at Pennard

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. Our Lantern Parade will be led by the Mari Lwyd. However, in our more civilised version, the only door we will knock on will be Heatherslade Nursing Home at the end of our route, when we sing carols for the residents.

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