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Transcripts count: 19
  1. Customs of Feast Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    John Madden
    Age
    14

    On Snap Apple Night (31st October) children had great fun trying to snap apples attached to a string and suspended from the ceiling. They also tried to take sixpences or three-penny bits out of a dish of flour or water with their mouths. This custom is nearly extinct now.
    On John's Night (24th June) known as Bonfire Night people lit large bonfires in every village. In places they drove the cattle through the ashes of the fire to preserve them from sickness until the next year's bonfire.
    On All Soul's Night (2nd November) it was an old custom to make up a nice tidy fire and put a few chairs around it. Next the people lit candles and put them in the kitchen windows. They then opened the door a little bit and went to bed leaving a nice tidy kitchen and fire to the Holy Souls for they believed that the departed souls came back again.

  2. Customs of Certain Feast Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    John Maher
    Occupation
    múinteoir

    words and phrases such as:- sidhe, gaoithe, ná bac leis, coileán (as a term of contempt), mo leanbh cumhra bán, aingciseoir, bóithrín, (called in Kilkenny Bósheen) taoscán, sop, crág, cipín, goirtín, steall, óinseach, amadán. Almost all of these words are used in the everyday conversation of the people of that district yet.


    In my childhood days it was customary to light a bonfire on the evening of SS. Peter and Paul's Day (June 29th) and a big crossroads dance was held at some well known rendezvous of the young people of the district. Bonfire night as it was then called was eagerly looked forward to. This custom prevailed up to about ten years ago but is now discontinued.

    During Holy Week the poor people go to the farmers houses gathering eggs or as it is called "gathering the cúbóg". The response is usually generous.

  3. The Customs of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Galavan
    Informant
    (name not given)
    Age
    42

    eaten with a spoon. It is said Sqeacoidí are not to be eaten after that night of the Puca is supposed to have sat on the tree. A plate of colcannon is left outside the door for the Puca.

    May Day
    A may bush is put up and dressed with lovely flowers. In olden days the people used to dress the cows horns with Mountain Ash or Curi Cauri, and skim the well. A story is told about a man who was skimming a well on May morning. A priest was passing on a sick call. As the man was skimming the well he was saying "All for me and the priest said in a joke "I'll try half so the priest got half the neighbour's butter. He had all he wanted for the year.
    Bonfire Night
    Bonfire nigh is kept in honour of the day St Patrick lighted the fire on Slane, the fire of faith which St Patrick

  4. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Brigid Kealy
    Informant
    James Tyrell
    Age
    65

    On St Johns Day the people light fires on the hills. Long ago it was called Bonfire night because the people used to light big fires & dance & sing around them.
    On St Brigid's Day people bring things for St Brigid to bless them.

  5. Ancient May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eamon Cass

    it and drive their cattle through the smoke, with also the young children, to preserve them from the spell of witchcraft" This was the story told by the peasant as he heard it through the traditions of his father.

    The May day Dance
    In Ireland it is still retained as a favourite pastime of the people on May day, when all the young men and maidens held hands, and dance in a circle around a tree hung with ribbons and garlands, or round a bonfire moving in curves from right to left, as if imitating the windings of a serpent.

  6. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    Shamrocks are worn on St. Patricks Day. Long ago the people would get drunk and drown the shamrock. Shrove Tuesday night is pancake night, and everyone makes pancakes on that night. On Ash Wednesday ashes a is blessed and put on the peoples' foreheads. Chalk Sunday is ofter Shrove. There were two days to get married, Shrove Monday and Shrove Tuesday and on the following Sunday if you did not get married you would be chalked. On Good Friday the people make a cross on they eggs got during the day and they would be eaten first on Easter Sunday. On Easter Sunday morning some people get up early to see the sun dancing. Long ago the old people would make a cross on your arm with a furze stick. On May Day people get up early to skin the wells. On that day the people get a blacktorn bush and decorate it with ribbons and egg-shells. It is called The May Bush. On St. John's night people light a bonfire and dance around it for the whole night. On St. Martins Night is "Harvest of the Geese". No one

  7. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    John Cotterell
    Informant
    Mr William Cotterell
    Age
    47

    On Chalk Sunday the bachelors are chalked when at Mass on this day.
    On holy Thursday the people spend and hour in the church in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
    On May Day the young people decorate "May bushes" with flowers and coloured papers in honour of the blessed Virgin.
    St Peter and Paul's day is also known as bonfire night. The new potatoes are first dug on this day.

  8. Customs in Locality

    Language
    English
    Collector
    (name not given)
    Occupation
    teacher

    people call it "Domhnach an Smut" or "Puss Sunday"; every boy and girl who didn't succeed in getting married during Shrove was supposed to be vexed and to have "a puss" or "a smuth" on them on that day because they were still unmarried; and the marriage season shrove or Serapht past.

    In Co. Sligo bon-fire night was always kept on St. John's Eve, 23rd June: the custom is now a thing of the past. Young people came from far and near, and the local boys took care to have plenty of fuel as as to have a fine blaze. Dancing and singing were the amusements - and some times a pair would dance through the fire. Here in Kilkenny "bon (or bone)-fire night" used to be kept on 29th June, and also on the Sunday preceding, but it was held in different localities each night; on the holiday and on the Sunday nights it was always held. In Mullinakille one Sunday night, in Tullogher 29th in Mullinarigle the following Sunday and so on. I remember hearing of Victor Power, storywriter, being at a bonfire in Mullinakille, and he wrote a story about it very soon after - bringing in names of places in locality.

  9. Pishogues

    Language
    English

    On St John's eve they lighted a bonfire in the cow yard and drove the cows through it to counteract charms. They carried the embers lighting to the pasture and tillage fields to counteract charms. They erected the may bush in this locality. They decorated it with blue and red ribbons. All the egg shells that were used on Easter Sunday morning were hung on also. It was supposed to have a counteracting of fairy charms and witch craft while at the same time they believed the "may bush" honours the Blessed Virgin.
    Brodericks dreaded the "Shee [?]" or "fairy [?]" immediately they heard it they threw a fist of red clay up in the air to counteract its evils.

  10. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen Bolger
    Informant
    Mr James Bolger

    Customs

    that day many years ago.There is a story told of a man who worked a flour - mill, now the property of Mr. Odlum. It is sutuated at St. Mullins. This man had a cat (which) that had been catching mice the mill for years and she was never caught in the mill. The mill was worked on St. Martin's Day and the cat was killed by the belt.
    St. John's Night: which falls on the 24th June. A large bonfire is lit on a mountain. Then others are lit with sparks from the first. After some time the whole mountain is on fire. Then the famers from the district carry lighting sticks from the bon-fire and take them around their potato crop. They pray to St. John while doing so to save them from blight.

  11. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maura Whitty
    Informant
    Mrs Whitty
    Age
    46

    and it is said that it is lucky to put a branch or a little bramble of the Blessed Palm in the out houses and in each room of the dwelling house.
    On Easter Sunday each person eats a large number of eggs because no eggs were allowed to be eaten in olden days during Lent.
    May-day:- on May eve a bonfire is lit to welcome summer. A May bush is also put up and bunches of flowers tied to it. The churning should never be done on May day because it is said, "That the fairies would take away the butter for the Summer. Some people never sell milk on May day. If you white-wash in May you will take the head of the house away. You should never borrow anything on May day.
    Another bon fire is lit on St John's day in honour of him and because half of the Summer is gone

  12. Pishrogues in the District of Clara, Co. Killkenny

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Denis Knox
    Informant
    Tom Knox
    Age
    62

    Pishrogues in the District of Clara Co. Kilkenny.
    (1) May Day. (1st May) It is a custom in some parts of this parish "to set eggs" in a neighbour's field. This is supposed to take the crops" from the neighbours and to increase one's own crop. Very early, before dawn, secretly these eggs are placed in the tillage fields.
    (2) It is also a custom to "skim the wells" that is to be the first person to take the water on the top of the well. This is supposed to bring in an increase of milk and butter for the whole year.
    St. John's Night (24th June)- Bonfire Night- Each person must bring a bundle of sticks; and when the fire is dying out each one take a lighting stick and brings it home & keeps it in a safe place "for luck".

  13. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Thomas Lyng
    Informant
    Mrs Lyng
    Age
    49

    All the old people of this district count it a lucky thing to put up a May bush on May-Eve in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


    There is a huge bonfire lighted on every cross-road and in every townland, every Saint Peter's and Paul's night.

    It is an old custom to make cálcannon on Hallowe'en. There are a lot of tricks played in every house on Hallowe'en night.

    "As long as the eleventh of June" is an expression often used in the Parish of the Rower. It was on the 11th June, 1921 that the Black-and-Tans were in The Rower. All the people had to stay in hiding on that day and it seemed a very long day to them. It was on that night that Mr. Butler's house was burned. It was also on the 11th of June that the Yeomen passed through the Rower Village after the battle of Ross. The people had to stay in hiding on that day also. The yeomen murdered two men as they passed through The Rower.

  14. Travelling Folk

    Language
    English

    been traveling for the past twenty-five years back and forth. They stay for at least three nights in town.

    They stay in a farmers house and they cook their own meals on an oil stove. They leave their horses in a barn and sleep in a bedroom which the farmer has all prepared for them.
    All those travelers are very welcome because they put a bit of light in the town when they come. We all joyfully look forward to the month of August. Some of them often visit the town on a fair day to buy horses.
    Long ago when they visited the town they built a bonfire on"Tom Dorens Hill" and the people of the district gathered round them

  15. A bonfire is lighted on St. John's Night in each farmer's field. A quantity of Furze is piled up in a field and in the evening when cows are milked, the fire is lighted, then the animals are driven into this field, where there is a person appointed to get the animals to pass under the smoke as near as possible to the fire.

    This custom is supposed to keep sickness from the land during the year. If a cow got a sore foot, she might lick it, and the mouth contracted the sore. This is called "Foot and Mouth Disease" long ago it was cured by simple means without publication, such as soft foods and drinks. This was the only trouble people had with Cattle.

    Told by
    Sister M. Michael O'Donnell (77 years)

    Holy Faith Convent,
    Mullinavat
    Co. Kilkenny.

  16. Composed by Mr John Dunne, School Master, in Poulacapple, about 60 years ago.

    I
    Rejoice! Rejoice! with heart and voice,
    My boys from Garryricken.
    To illuminate around Ormonde's Gate
    With arch and bonfire quicken.
    II
    The smoke rises o'er sweet Coolaghmore
    And the hills round Kylevalla.
    Our glassen cup we'll fill it up,
    Céad míle fáilte abhaile.

  17. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patrick Byrne
    Informant
    Mrs Annie Byrne

    St Brigids day

    People hang a ribbon on the back of the door on the night before St Brigids day and if anyone get a pain in their head he or she should tie the ribbon around their head and the pain will be cured.
    Shrove Tuesday
    Shrove Tuesday night is also called "Pancake night" On that night pancakes are made of anything that is not used during Lent
    May-day
    The night before the first of May children get a bush and dress it with ribbons papers and flowers and call it the "May Bush"
    St John's day
    A bonfire is lighted and when the fire is quenched the people get some of the ashes and put it on their crops
    St Martins day - a mill is not supposed to work because St Martin was ground in a mill on that day.

  18. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maire Horgan
    Age
    12

    On Shrove Tuesday it was the custom in each house to make pancakes. A little feast was held around the fire, consisting of baked potatoes dipped in melted butter.
    People always fasted very severely during Lent. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, were the days on which they fasted most.
    All they ate on that day was a piece of dry bread and a drop of black tea.
    It is always the custom in this locality, to eat a great many eggs on Easter Sunday, and on Whit Sunday. Hen eggs, and goose eggs were eaten at every meal.
    It was a belief, that if a person bathed in the dew on May Day, he would become the most beautiful person in the country.
    If a person passed through this locality on St. John's Day, in former times, he would see the neighbouring hills ablaze with bonfire. This was always the custom until recently.
    On Michaelmas, and on St. Martin's Day, a cock or a goose was always killed, and the blood sprinkled around the house. It was always the belief, that blood should be spilled on either of these days.
    Hallow e'een was regarded by everybody as one of the greatest feasts of the

  19. Runners, Mowers, etc.

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Johanna Conway
    Age
    11
    Collector
    Stasia Conway
    Age
    13

    II
    There was people from Clare
    From Cork and Kildare
    From the Co. Roscommon and sweet Co. Down
    They came to see our great sight
    With their whole heart's delight
    And the bonfire was held in Coolnahaw town.


    (Procured by Johanna Conway from her father John Conway Glenpipe, New Ross. He heard it sung by Phil Hard 50 years ago.)
    I
    My curse attend you, May Boy,
    Your dirty Garran breed
    You missed your footsteps on the wall
    While going at full speed.
    Reynard to the cover,
    Johnnie Ryan cried, "Tallyho!"
    The hills and dales all echoed
    And his Lordship was laid low.
    II
    If I had any pen and paper
    I would praise you, Johnnie Ryan,
    For many the salty tear you shed
    As he Lordship he was dying.
    For many the salty tear you shed,
    And will forevermore,