School: Tamney (Robertson)

Location:
Tawny, Co. Donegal
Teacher:
Mrs Kyle

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May Customs

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 1090, Page 345

Image and data © National Folklore Collection, UCD. See copyright details »

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Long ago, when the Irish were Pagans, they had many customs referring to May Day. On May Eve, May flowers were gathered and the doorsteps of the houses were strewn over with these flowers. This was supposed to ward off evil spirits from the houses.

Many people believe that certain people can "blink" or take the milk away from other people's cows. These people who had the power of blinking were supposed to go out early on May morning and go where the cows of the person they were going to harm were, and by a look, they were able to transfer the milk to their own cows.
In some (?) parts we carry all red ribbons tied to cows horns. This is supposed to save the cows from blinking.
These people who have this power are unwelcome guests in a house where churning is going on. With a look, they are supposed to be able to take the butter with them. If the person whose milk has been blinked

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Collector
Joe Mc Connell
Gender
male
Language
English