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School: Glassalts (roll number 1239)

Location:
Glasalt or Treanfasy, Co. Donegal
Teacher:
M. P. Ó Dochartaigh

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Feast and Festivals - Christmas

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 1116, Page 115

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

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Feasts and Festivals
Christmas is the greatest feast of the year around here. Some weeks before Christmas a number of boys aged sixteen get together and go around the neighbours' houses at night. They do a certain number each night and when they have finished their own they go to the neighbouring ones. These boys are called the Rhymers. They wear (with the exception of one) a white shirt outside their clothing with two red bands down the front and seven large white buttons on each band. A Half-stone paper bag decorated with holly, braid, ribbons and the initials of the wearer in in coloured paper in front is used for a hat Some wear masks or false faces. The exception wears a straw hat and straw coat made from strings and pleated straw. He is called Jack Straw.
First they knock at door and ask permission to enter.
(First speaker (leader) enters) carrying sweord)
Hooray! Hooray! My gallant lays
And give me room to Rhyme.
I'll show you some activity
About this Christmas time
If you don't like to believe me Enter in Prince George.
Speaker Yes! Yes! Here comes me Prince George.

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Language
English