School: Duleek (B.) (roll number 6554)

Duleek, Co. Meath
Micheál Ó Braonáin
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0682, Page 253

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0682, Page 253

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  1. XML School: Duleek (B.)
  2. XML Page 253
  3. XML “<span class="exact">May</span> <span class="exact">Day</span> Customs in Old Duleek”

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  1. Long ago in Duleek on May Eve the men and boys used to light a bonfire. They used to rub two bones or flint stones together. After a while a blaze would come, and with it they would light a wad of hay that they had lit all the other bonfires with, and they would keep over the same wad of hay to light the May fire the next year.
    They would have a very big ash butt in the middle of the fire, with all the furze and other sticks on top of it. They would never burn any furze that would be in bloom. Then they would sit round the fire and they telling stories.
    Not far away from the bonfire all the girls would have a May bush. The day befoe they would gather all the flowers and keep them in water. Then they would tie them on the branches of the bush. They would stick candle or the dalks. they would sing a song round the May bush that would not be sung throughout all the year until then, and they would not sing it until the May Day again. When all would be over, they would take the 'Plover-Skins' (Plobairscín - marsh marigold) off the May bush and throw them into the fire. Then everyone would come along in turns, and take a bit of the ashe, and keep it in their pocket.
    Transcribed by a member of our volunteer transcription project.
    1. genre
      1. belief (~391)
        1. folk belief (~2,535)
    2. events
      1. events (by time of year) (~11,476)
        1. May (~639)
    Seumas Ó Gormáin
    Commons, Co. Meath
    Liam Ó Gormáin
    Duleek, Co. Meath