AN ANCIENT farming tradition will come to Chepstow this weekend in a day-long event of fun, dance and celebration.

Chepstow-based Morris dancing group, The Widdlers Border Morris, will host the event, celebrating the Welsh midwinter Mari Lwyd tradition and the English custom of Wassailing.

As a traditional New Year’s celebration, the festival acknowledges the changing of the seasons, using a ceremonial horse skull as a symbol of “death and rebirth.”

This year’s festivities will happen on Saturday, January 16 in Chepstow, starting at 2.30pm at the Three Tuns, Bridge Street for “dancing and capers.”

Between 3pm and 4pm, there will be a Wassail of the Chepstow Castle Dell, sundry singing and dancing — followed by a horse head ceremony between 4pm and 5.30pm.

More morris dancing is set to break out from 5.30pm in preparation for a meeting between the English and Welsh at the 200-year-old Chepstow Bridge at 6.30pm.

The day will wind down with the Mari Lwyd performed at floodlit Chepstow Museum at 7.15pm with “rumours” of hot mulled cider being served.

The event with close with a 8pm Country Ceilidh Dance at the Drill Hall with “Calennig”.

Entry to this dance is £5 and no experience is necessary.