It is an old Welsh custom to sing the praises of Mary, even if the motives are not altogether pious. But two Welshmen the other day observed the ancient Welsh custom of Mari Lwyd in Cardiff and were promptly brought before Cardiff magistrates on a charge of begging.
The magistrates adjourned the case in order that the police might prepare a report.
. Mari Lwyd is a curious survival from Catholic days and in days gone by it was celebrated by the party standing outside houses singing verses.
If the inhabitants failed to answer in kind they paid a forfeit in money or in hospitality.
In the case before the magistrates one of the men was said to be wearing the gaily caparisioned, ribbonbedecked horse's head which is an essential part of the affair in South Wales, but not in the North where it was knodn as Lwyd Wen (The White Ladsd
" Open the door for here is Mary with her son," began one of the old songs.
Mari Lwvil in past days never began earlier than the Vigil of the Nativity and in sonic places it did not begin till the Circumcision, but the songs associated with it were sung until Candlemas.
One wonders whether the ,Cardiff Legion of Mary might not well restore the tradition and the carols that go with it.