The Mari Lwyd or, in Welsh, Y Fari Lwyd, is a New Year custom once prevalent in the valleys of South Wales. Translated, the name means ‘the Grey (or Holy) Mary’ although this is likely a more recent rendering of ‘the Grey Mare’, as the tradition surrounding the Mari Lwyd involves the parading of a horse’s skull.
Traditional Welsh dress was worn by women in rural areas of Wales.The distinctive dress was based on a form of bedgown made from wool, of a style dating from the 18th century, worn over a corset. This was teamed with a printed neckerchief, a petticoat, apron and knitted stockings. The dress was completed by a high crowned hat reminiscent of 17th century fashions and a red, caped cloak. Prior to the late 18th / early 19th century there was no such thing as a Welsh national costume.