What we do when it's dark by 4.00pm in Wales
Welcome to the (old) New Year - time for some wassailing through the dark:dressing up/ cross dressing, getting drunk and duelling via bawdy poetry from farm to farm, tavern to tavern.
At this time of year Y Fari Lwyd, the skull of a horse, dressed all in ribbons and bells, is carried through the night by a band of dodgy characters: the Betsy (a pantomine woman with a wicked bensom broom), Ostler and the rest. Musicians, singers and bards accompany her, exhorting ale, food and sometimes money from the farms and pubs where she calls. Sung verses are exchanged and initially the door is barred to the grisly visitors, but when the grey mare gains entry, watch out as she runs at you, snapping her dry jaws and lifting her skirts for a kiss!
(Hen) Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd!