Thursday, December 22, 2022

Glad you've been good

Mari Lwyd, Lwyd Mari
A sacred thing through the night they carry.
Betrayed are the living, betrayed the dead
All are confused by a horse's head.
~Vernon Watkins

When I was reading about The Monsters of Christmas it was clear that back in the day, people thought naughty kids didn't just get coal in their stockings, haha! I feel like this little boy's sister knew he had it coming:

A 1900s greeting card reading 'Greetings from Krampus!'
Unknown author - Historie čertů Krampus Uploaded by Kohelet

Krampusz (1907)
Unknown author

A different, but still scary, look for Krampus:

Wooden mask of the Carinthian "Bartl or Krampus" a horrible man with beard in Austria, EU
photo by Naturpuur

Time for the Mari Lwyd, the Welsh horse skull creature. Welsh journalist Jude Rogers says, "There's something timelessly terrifying about her." Kind of like scary carolling, "The Mari Lwyd party would approach a house and sing a song in which they requested admittance. The inhabitants of the house would then offer excuses for why the team could not enter. The party would sing a second verse, and the debate between the two sides – known as the pwnco (a form of musical battle similar to flyting) – would continue until the house's inhabitants ran out of ideas, at which time they were obliged to allow the party entry and to provide them with ale and food." [Wikipedia]

Mari Lwyd
by Rhŷn Williams

The Yule Goat doesn't usually seem scary, but "Old Christmas" is creeping me out in this one:

'Old Christmas', riding a yule goat
1836 illustration by Robert Seymour
from "The Book of Christmas" by Thomas Kibble Hervey

We'll finish off with a beautiful Yule Goat:

by John Bauer (1912)

1 comment:

Pop said...

The Krampus is indeed a scary character. I looked it up and the legend of the Krampus is very old...12th century in fact.

Had never heard of Mari Lwyd, but it is a nasty creature, too. The business of the caroling "duel" was fascinating.

And thanks for finishing things off with the beautiful Yule Goat. :-)