Mari Lwyd—Wales’ Rhyming Horse Skull Puppet

Imagine that you are sitting in front of a fire on a frosty night sometime in the twelve days after Christmas when you hear a knock at the door. It could be neighbors with treats, or perhaps carolers looking for a pot of hot wassail. Or, if you’re in Wales, it may be a horse skull with glowing eyes and a long white cloak hoping to challenge you to a rhyming contest so it can come inside to raid your pantry and wine cellar.

On the Second Day of Imported Christmas, we made a Mari Lwyd to celebrate midwinter like our Welsh ancestors. Turns out it’s harder than you might think to find an actual horse skull in Utah. Fortunately, Gordon found Trac Cymru, a Welsh folk development organization that has created a flatpack cardboard version with international shipping.

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