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Uploaded on Jan 25, 2009
4 videos of the event in one, 2x morris dancing, the Welsh Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare group) meet the English Wassailers on the bridge where they head to Chepstow to make merry with scrumpy and ale!!
Quote: Saturday 24th January Chepstow Wassail and Mari Lwyd. The first wassail will take place at the lower Dell (near Three Tuns pub) around 3.30pm and again at the Bandstand (near The Bridge Inn) at 7pm. Mr Peter Symonds of CROW (The Campaign for the Revival of Wassailing) will conduct the proceedings along with The Forest of Dean Morris men and friends. The event includes singing, dancing, blessing an apple tree and hanging pieces of toast soaked in cider on its branches.
The Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) is an ancient Welsh custom which probably originated in South Wales similar to first footing at New Year. Traditionally a horses skull or representation of same is carried from house to house by the Mari Lwyd group. At the house a kind of singing competition between the group and the people of the house begins after the group has knocked on the door and requested entry for food and drink. Eventually, the Mari group are given entry and sustenance, there is more singing and capers and then after blessing the household, off to the next house.
Meeting at the Border: probably unique to Chepstow. At around 6.30pm the Wassail group and the Mari Lwyd group gather on the border (middle of the old iron bridge) where they greet each other and exchange flags in a gesture of friendship and unity between them. The Welsh then invite the English to join them in Wales in their merrymaking.