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School: Kildavin, Ferns

Location:
Kildavin, Co. Carlow
Teacher:
Tadhg de Brí

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Festivals of the Year - May Day

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0911, Page 246

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In the olden times in Ireland, people were more superstitious than they are at the present day, for instance: They would not let anyone outside their own family into their dairy for fear they would take the butter, or into their cowhouse, fowlhouse or barn on May Day. If anyone did happen to get in they would have to shake the dust off their boots lest they might take the luck. Also if you were entering a dwelling - house you would have to put your right foot inside the door first. No one ever gets married on May Day because it is counted very unlucky. If a robin flew into the house on May Day it is supposed to be a sign of a death about to take place. Up to the present time it is usual for people to put up a May bush and adorn it with flowers and toys and candles, and the people would sing and dance all round it. It was supposed to be unlucky to give fire or matches or milk or lend anything in the way of tools on May Day.

Collector
Aidan Murphy
Gender
male
Informant
Mr Doyle
Gender
male
Age
61
Occupation
farmer
Address
Ballyshonock, Co. Wexford
Language
English