KNOWN as the newest old tradition in Wales, hundreds are set to take part in Mari Lwyd celebrations.

The ancient tradition has had something of a revival in recent years.

In 2015, the traditional Welsh event which involves a horse’s skull was revived in Caerleon, where it is set to be held today.

Meanwhile in Chepstow, the annual wassail and Mari Lwyd has grown in popularity.

This year, organisers are bidding to set a record for the most Mari Lwyds gathered in one place.

Usually around 10-15 Mari Lwyds attend, but due to the event’s increased popularity over recent years, around 30 are expected.

Organiser Mick Lewis, of The Widders Welsh Border Morris, said the event is a unique opportunity to celebrate the border.

He said: “People love it because it is so unusual and unique.

“I don’t think there is another event like it on the planet because in most places they don’t celebrate borders. We think it is important to celebrate Welshness and Englishness.

“It is a big celebration and a fun day.”

This year the famous meeting at the border on the Wye Bridge will be screened live and shown on a screen on the riverbank.

The meeting will include the exchanging of Welsh and English flags, before the groups wish each other happy New Year and drink from the wassail bowl which is passed around.

Edward Thraves, one of the morris dancers at The Widders, said he enjoys performing at the event.

He said: “You jump into another world and assume the characters you play.

“Everyone gets involved and there is a really nice atmosphere.”

Mr Thraves said the event is getting bigger every year.

He added: “It is about putting on a good spectacle for the spectators

“It is good to keep the trade alive and it is a lot of fun.”

At the Chepstow Mari Lwyd and wassail next Saturday, January 20, Mari Lwyds will gather at the GreenMan Backpackers hostel in Chepstow at 1.30pm, with the apple tree wassail following at the Castle Dell at 3.30pm. A Mari pageant will follow at the Chepstow Castle Inn at 4.30pm.

The famed meeting at the border will happen at 6.30pm, with the Grand Mari Lwyd taking place outside Chepstow Museum at 7.15pm. The Cats Claw Ceilidh Band will play at the Drill Hall from 8pm, with morris dancing a music also playing throughout the day.

Meanwhile the Mari Lwyd will also be returning to Caerleon today.

The tradition was revived 2015 after a 70 year hiatus.

Yr Hyddgen, the performers, will start at the Bell Inn, Caerleon, at 6pm. A torchlit procession will follow a route to the Ship Inn before crossing the bridge to the White Hart pub and finishing at the Hanbury Arms.Wassailing is a mostly English tradition of blessing apple trees and asking for good harvest for the year, while the Mari Lwyd involves a decorated horse skull being carried from house to house by performers.

The Mari Lwyd performers will then attempt to gain entry in the house. Once they are let in, they will bless the inhabitants of the property before moving on.

For more information on the Chepstow event visit For the Caerleon event, visit