Ghosts of Christmas: The Mari Lwyd (Folklore Series)

This is a folklore illustration of the Welsh tradition of the Mari Lwyd, a pre-christian tradition believed to bring good luck even though it sure looks creepy.

A horse skull decorated with ribbons and jewels was mounted upon a pole and was carried by a person hidden under a cloth from door to door. Accompanied by a group of musicians in traditional Welsh clothing the Mari Lwyd knocks on the door and sings the first verse of a traditional song.

The homeowner answers him with the next verse and after a number of verses have been exchanged, the Mari Lwyd and his companions are invited into the house and provided with food and drink before leaving for the next house on the street to start the procession again.

This illustration was made for the Ghosts of Christmas Art Challenge on Instagram.

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