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Transcripts count: 110
  1. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    Mixed
    Collector
    Clarrie Alfred
    Age
    14

    May Day.

    May day falls on the first of May and it is said to be the first day of summer.
    The day before May day is called May eve and on that day in Adare no Roman Catholic would dare to pick flowers because they say it is unlucky and that the fairies would come that night and revenge it on anybody that picked flowers on that day.
    On May eve the priest has always a large amount of holy water put in the chapel and each household brings a bottle of it home and sprinkles it all around the house so that no harms will come to them. This water is known as the May water.
    There are some Roman Catholics in Adare who would not stay out late on May eve night afraid the fairies would catch them.
    May day is not kept as a special day in Irleand at present but long ago people kept that day as a great day of enjoyment, because it is supposed to be the first day of summer and not so

  2. Customs of Long Ago

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nóra Ní Madagain
    Informant
    Mrs P. Madigan
    Age
    66

    Long ago it was the custom among the Ancient people on May Eve in some places to put branches off the trees and Primrose outside the doorstep to keep away the fairies.
    The farmer used to throw holy water over his cattle to keep away danger.
    Thers is an old superstision that anyone cannot pick flowers or sticks on May Eve.

  3. May Eve and May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Ita Kenrick
    Informant
    Mrs Michael Kenrick
    Age
    89

    Holy water, or the May-water as it is called, is sprinkled by people, on May-eve and May-day on their homes, their cattle, gardens and pasture fields to invoke a blessing from God on themselves and their stock and crops. People shake salt in new milk as a preventive of any pisheogs being worked and having effect by the evil-minded on those two days. Salt is also shaken in wells at the same time for the same reason, as salt is believed to act as a safeguard against charms.
    Farmers remain up and keep vigil over their stock on those nights fearing that their enemies might come and milk their cows, and by the agency of the devil take the produce of the milk.
    Children are told not to lie on the grass and not to pick flowers on May-day or May-eve, fearing that the fairies might gain power over them.

  4. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mrs Hayes
    Occupation
    teacher

    Blood is always spilled on St. Martin's Day, because St. Martin was killed in a mill. Ribbons are tied to the doors on St. Brigit's Eve.
    It is supposed to cure any complaint, particulary a headache. On Chalk Sunday, people go around putting stripes of chalk on other people's backs They do this to mark the people that are not married. On May Eve, a Hawthorn is supposed to bring bad luck to the inhabitants if brought into the house. People tie a green bush to the door on May Eve to welcome the Summer. On Shrove Tuesday pancakes are eaten. Rings are put into the pancakes and whoever gets the ring will be married within the year.

  5. Pishogues

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Tom Fitzgerald
    Age
    13

    About 17 years ago my father John Fitzgerald, was after buying a pig at the market, two days before May Eve.
    The day after May Eve, on the 1st of May the pig died. My father was surprised when he died, because he was a fine health pig.
    A few days after my father was down at the end of the field, and he got two young dead pigs in the dike. Thinking of nothing he threw them out over the ditch.
    When he came back he told my mother what he had seen. She said it should be piseogs.

  6. Taking the Milk Away

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Pilib O Conaill

    from a stream where three parishes joined.
    This particular condition obtains in the townland of Ballyvodane, where the parishes of Ardpatrick, Effin & Kilmallock meet & tis said that superstitious farmers in the old days set a watch on this place on May Eve.
    My informant also saw when a boy people taking out a 'blessed candle' & running the flame around the udders of the cows singing some of the hair in the process. This was done on May Eve & was supposed to protect the cattle from charms etc.

  7. (no title)

    In a field near Ballyguiltenane school is a deep hole. On May eve fairies are seen there...

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Sheehan
    Informant
    Mortimer Sheehan
    Age
    50

    In a field near Ballyguiltenane school is a deep hole. On May Eve fairies are seen there .A man was passing this hole May night about twelve o'clock. He heard beautiful music and the fairies asked him to come into the hole. They asked him stay with them until morning. When morning came they let him go and told him not to be out later then twelve o'clock, and especially when he had no business.

  8. Pishogues

    Language
    English
    Collector
    William Curtin

    and their Cattle and Horsos for the "Holy Water" can prevent any person from doing Pishogues on them on May eve. It is not right to give away Eggs or milk on may day.

  9. (no title)

    About six years ago in the parish of Monegay, a man went to a farmer's house on May Eve for a rope to tie straw.

    Language
    English

    About six years ago in the parish of Monegay, a man went to a farmer's house on May Eve for a rope to tie straw. The farmer gave him the rope, but he found out later that the man had no straw to tie. In a few weeks from that night two sows with their bonhams owned by the farmer, died.

  10. Pishogues

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Chris Humphreys
    Age
    12

    May Eve falls on the last day of April, and on that evening some people make piseogs. Other people go around to all the wells and streams on their farms and shake salt in them, because they say that anyone coundn't do any harm to you

  11. May Eve Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maurice Gleeson
    Age
    14

    On May Eve it is said that people make pishogues.
    Eggs and dead carcases are put into other people's property in order to bring misfortune on the people and to gain their property.
    On May Eve Easter-water is shaken on the cattle to keep them safe for the night from all harm.
    Eggs are put in ridges of potatoes in order to make the crop fail, and to gain the man's crop.
    One day as an old man

  12. May Eve Customs

    Long ago there lived a man who name was Tom Conors, Cappamore, Co. Limerick and he used to make piseogs every May Eve.

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Con Hemp
    Age
    13

    go around to all the neighbour's farms before midnight and used to drop a head of a dead calf on certain farms and legs of calves on other farms. One night on May Eve, as he was going through a man's farm two big ugly dogs rushed towards him. One of them made a spring for himand caught him by the throat, and the other caught him by the leg. The man was never seen again going through any more farms, for the two dogs tore him to pieces.

  13. May Eve Customs

    Long ago there lived a man who name was Tom Conors, Cappamore, Co. Limerick and he used to make piseogs every May Eve.

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Con Hemp
    Age
    13

    Long ago, there lived a man who name was Tom Conors, Cappamore, Co. Limerick and he used to make piseogs every May Eve. He used

  14. (no title)

    On May Eve some people in this district keep up a lot of old customs, but it is farmers that mostly keep them up.

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patrick Connors
    Age
    12

    On May Eve some people in this district keep up a lot of old customs, but it is farmers that mostly keep them up. Some farmers bury meat and rotten eggs in other people'sgardens in order to injure them, but it is said that if the other people get the meat and rotten eggs and take them and burn them then the injury will fall back on the farmers themsleves. Other farmers also go to every corner of their own fields

  15. May Eve Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Bridget Hourigan
    Informant
    Mrs Hourigan

    On May Eve it was an old custom to stick a piece of a Quickbeam tree in the crops to keep away "piseoigs" and it is also said that they used to sprinkle holy water on the crops. On that same night the old people used to bring in clean water out of a well in a bottle and it never got bad and it was a cure for all diseases. And on that same the old people would not let any person get water out of a well that would be in his crops or land.

  16. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eugene Sullivan
    Informant
    Eugene Sullivan
    Age
    circa 70

    There is an old saying, that people should not pull grass on May Eve, or on May Day, and many farmers would not plough their ground on that day, and boys and girls should not be out late. On that night, if people wash their hands in the dew of the grass, they would be able to rip any knot for that year. Farmers shake holy water on their land, to keep out pishogues.

  17. Certain Days

    Language
    English

    Some people do not like to start a thing on Monday. They do not think it lucky. One May eve, people shake holy water around their place. People like to have early potatoes set for the seventeenth of March. If a person dies, and is to be buried on Monday, the grave is reddened on Sundays. Some people think it not lucky to take horses out of a field on Monday if they were in it for a long time.

  18. Piseoga

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Philomena Ryan

    thought they were skimming the cream off their neighbour's milk.
    It is said that a woman hides in a glen and when she sees any sign of smoke come from her neighbour's house she says "Let the butter of that house be to me this year." When the neighbour starts to make his butter he cannot do it because the spell of the witch is on it.

    People say if you pick lilac on May Eve and take it into the house you will have bad luck.
    If you borrow money on May Eve you will also have bad luck.
    If your right hand is itchy it is a sign you will be shaking hands with someone, and if your left hand is itchy, it is said you will get money.

  19. Local Cures

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Thomas Duhig
    Age
    75

    The "cat-eye" ( wild flower of the fields) was used to cure the falling-sickness. Posthumous children are looked upon as having healing-powers. A child born on May Day or May Eve is supposed to be able to heal the common diseases.

  20. Pishogues

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maura Walshe
    Informant
    John Aherne
    Age
    67

    always on the look out for some reson to dismiss her.
    One day he called just when the men were at dinner he found great lumps of butter on the table. To see what the woman would say he asked her why she was wasting so much butter she replied "Isn't your butter that is waisted." He then sent her about her business.
    One May Eve piseogs are made. A man who couldn't make any butter for years decided to remain up on May Eve night and watch his cows. About midnight a man came into the cowhouse. He had a bottle into which he milked a drop of milk from each cow.
    Before he had gone far the owner came from his hiding place and caught him. That year he was able to make butter