Refugee charity hosts storytelling supper night this Christmas for those new to Cardiff

Refugee charity Oasis Cardiff is opening its doors for a traditional Welsh supper night of surprises including stories, songs and performances by local artists

A woman smiles as she strokes Mari Lwyd, a grey horse representing a Welsh festive tradition
Performers at the storytelling supper also tour the country including Cath Little (right). Image credit: Cath Little

Splott-based charity Oasis Cardiff is hosting a storytelling fundraiser to welcome refugees and asylum seekers on 16 December. With stories of South Welsh culture including the folkloric horse Mari Lywd, proceeds will be used to aid those integrating into Cardiff life. 

Cath Little, a storyteller and performer for the evening, explains what is in store for those attending the fundraiser.

“There will be traditional seasonal Welsh stories, songs and tunes from Cardiff musicians and storytellers,” says the Welsh singer. These artists include Guto Dafis, Kestrel Morton, and Heulwen Williams, as well as Cath Little

Bringing the story of Mari Lywd alive, the performers will explore how the ancient tradition of the grey mare continues to exist in South Welsh culture today.

Explaining that Mari appears between Christmas Day and Twelfth Night, Cath says, “The old horse comes knocking on the doors of houses and pubs with her singing companions. Once inside, Mari Lwyd creates chaos and mischief before seeing out the death of the old year and ushering in the new.”

As an organisation that celebrates the international sharing of culture and tradition, Oasis Cardiff will mix the artistic performances with a warm Welsh meal topped with all the Christmas trimmings.

“The Mari Lwyd storytelling supper will be a lovely opportunity to share our own Welsh midwinter customs and to enjoy a feast together,” says Cath. 

Often hosting supper nights, Oasis Cardiff will partner with The Plate project, an initiative delivering regular community events inspired by the culinary talents of Oasis clients. According to The Plate Project’s catering manager Matt Davenport, this project aims to get clients into work through catering and hospitality.

The money raised from the Mari Lwyd storytelling supper night will be used to run activities, training and cookery clubs for those integrating into life within Cardiff and Wales.

Lyrics from one of the Mari Lwyd songs still traditionally sung by people in Llangynwyd, Bridgend

Here we come
Dear friends
To ask permissions to sing

If we don’t have permission,
Let us know in song
How we should go away tonight

I have no dinner
Or money to spend
To give you welcome tonight