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Transcripts count: 57
  1. 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

  2. Customs in Locality

    Language
    English
    Collector
    (name not given)
    Occupation
    teacher

    * continued from p.77
    Feeling inclined to sleep during the day is a sign of consumption; I remember a fellow pupil of my own, a handsome and very intelligent little girl who died in consumption, and in the beginning before we knew anything was the matter with her she felt very much inclined to sleep in the school and often did so - she was about 16 or 17 years then and died of rapid consumption inherited from her mother.

    8. May Day Customs:
    It was and still is the custom for each family to set up a May bush in front of the house for May-Day: this was to bring 'luck' for the year. It (the Bush) consisted of a Sceach trimmed with coloured ribbons and flowers, and it was left there during the month of May. Older Customs: "Skimming of wells" early on May morning was done to take other people's butter. Butter used be taken by persons not so long ago. The priest was often brought to read over, the cream in the churn, and he used to bring back the butter.
    It was wrong to lend or borrow or give away milk on May Day and unlucky. Here is an incident:
    A man named O'Neill living in Ballyneale

  3. 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.

  4. Irish Traditions

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eamon Cass

    circle especially round May day the day of the sacred Baal fire, because in the old pagan times on May Eve the Druids lit the great sacred fire at Tara, and as the signal flames rose high up into the air, a fire was kindled on every hill in Eire, till the whole island was circled by a zone of flame.
    It was a saying amongst the Irish that, fire and salt are the two most precious things given to man. Fire above all was held sacred by them, as the symbol of Diety and the mystic means of purification and three things were never given away by them on May day, - fire, milk, or butter - for this would be to give away luck.
    No one was permitted to carry a lighted sod out of his house, or to borrow fire in any way. And on strange hand was allowed to milk the cow, for if the

  5. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    English

    On the eve of May Day a white thorn bush is dressed in coloured ribbons and put standing in a heap of manure. It is left there until the leaves wither on it. Then it is burned in the fire. "A swarm of bees in May is worth guinea a day" If you whitewash the house in May the fairies will sweep the roof away.

  6. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    English

    On May Day it is an old custom to decorate a white thorn bush with flowers and coloured papers. It is stuck down in the garden or in a manure heap. In May people do not cut hedges, cut hair, or whitewash. "A swarm in May is worth a load of hay. A wet and windy May fills the haggard with corn and hay.

  7. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Alice Anderson

    Long ago before the creameries were made the Farmer's made their own butter and the poor people stole it from them. It was a custom to skim the well on May day morning and that this would give them power to steal it. It is said that a poor woman went to a Farmer's house to steal milk, the farmer had

  8. Candlemas Day

    Throw candles and candlesticks away
    And eat your supper with the light of the day.
    Shrove Tuesday
    On Shrove Tuesday people used to make pan cakes in Ballydaniel. This custom is still carried on in many houses here.
    May Day
    Certain old malicious people used to "skim" a well on May morning, pray for themselves and curse their neighbours, so that all the butter their neighbours would churn until the next May Day would come to them.
    Some old people used to bury rotten eggs in their neighbours field on May morning, pray for themselves and curse their neighbours, so that the prosperity of their neighbours' crops would come to them.

  9. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    (name not given)
    Occupation
    teacher

    (See page 378)


    A sweeping brush (new) should not be bought or brought into the house on a May-day or it will bring bad luck:-
    "Buy a brush in May -
    Take the family away,"

    White-washing the house or painting of windows etc during this month would bring bad luck also.

    On this morning (May day) people sometimes find a dirty bit of butter or grease fastened to the outside of their door, or dairy or hen-house etc., and they are sure to meet bad luck during the year if on door of cow-house butter is taken, if on door of calves' house these animals will perish or be unlucky, etc., and it is somebody wishing a person ill who sticks this grease (which is really a sort of fungus found on a rotten stick) on their neighbour's door, and whoever passed this grease or finds it first meets the misfortunes.

  10. Old Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eibhlín Ní Liathán
    Informant
    Mrs Earle

    On May Day the people used to put out branches of young beech trees nailed on the wall over the door to keep away the fairies.

    An old custom was kept at Christmas, the windows and streets are decorated with coloured papers and tinsel and sprays of holly, there are three huge coloured lighted candles placed in each window to represent the Trinity.

  11. Old Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eibhlín Ní Liathán
    Informant
    Pat Donovan
    Age
    circa 80

    It was an old custom with the people of Callan that if they looked at the mirror, at 12 o'clock on Hallow Eve night, with the lights of a candle and the person, whether man or woman, would see their future husband or wife, and it was also a custom, at the sunset, to have all the children to dance around the May bush, and sing, then to pluck which ever bit of May they would grip blind-folded and to keep it till next May day for a lucky charm.

    It was also a custom to burn old rags, and wood in the evening and to gather a

  12. Old Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eibhlín Ní Liathán
    Informant
    Mrs Marnell

    the whole year, but if it quenched it was an omen of bad luck.

    If a person contracts a cold or becomes sick on May day they will find it very hard to recover, but if the person has been sick before May, the sickness will completely disappear if, before the sun rises on May morning, a piece of grass is plucked from a fairy rath is placed under the pillow of the sick person. By the time the grass has withered, the sickness will have vanished.

  13. (no title)

    William Raftis said the milk was going on him.

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Miss Williams

    William Raftis said the milk was going on him. He got up early May day loaded his gun and went out to the fields where the cows were and watched. A hare came into the field and went over to the first cow he met and sucked a tit or two. She attacked several, one tit of one and two or three of another. Raftis fired at the hare and broke her hind leg. He followed the hare out of the field and kept her in sight until she came to a cabin. She jumped in through a back window. Raftis burst in the door and found the owner, an old woman in bed and her leg broken. She kept a couple of cows grazing on the side of the road and used to sell butter in two or three towns around the place but Raftis finished her.

  14. Lucky Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Larry Flannery
    Informant
    Pat Flannery
    Age
    59

    The month of May is considered the unluckiest month of the year. There is a tradition in this district connected with the month of May. Nobody starts building or repairing houses. It is considered unlucky to whitewash walls during the month of May. On May day nobody gives alms to poor people come begging. The tradition is that the person which you give the alms to would be the cause of unhappiness to you afterwards. A week before a family would come to live in a new house they would bring a piece of bread with a pinch of salt and leave it on the floor of the new house.

  15. Churning

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Bridget Kelly

    In olden times the people made their own butter and sold it on the market. Sometimes the highway men or robbers broke the windows and stole the firkins of butter, so the people put bars on all the windows down the stairs.
    On May day the butter was also stolen. In the morning the people found the butter in the wells, and in the fields and sometimes it was got on the doors.

  16. Local Cures

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patrick Dunne

    be taken between the legs of an ass. A blessed candle should be lighting and the sign of the cross made over the sick person three times.
    He also mentions Fohrum a herb which is used to cure all sickness. It must be plucked between May Day and Lady Day when it is required, it is steeped in Easter water and then the sick person takes a little which is supposed to cure him.

  17. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Peggy Murphy
    Informant
    Bill Gorey

    St Patricks Day falls on the seventeenth of March. Everybody gathers shamrock a few days before that & puts it in their coat or hats to celebrate St Patricks Day.
    Ash Wednesday falls on the first day of Lent. Nearly every body goes to mass on that day to get blessed ashes. Easter Sunday is the last day in Lent. May Day. All children dress up as Kings & Queens & Fairies and play around the May Bush.

  18. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Thomas Moore

    On May Day, people put up May-bushes with all sorts of colour on them.
    On St John's Day, a pattern is held at St John's Well.

  19. Ancient May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eamon Cass

    the old man said unto one was first set up in hounour of the great Milesians who gave battle one may day to the Tuatha De Danans and conquered. Then a powerful magician of the Tuatha caused innumerable darts to go forth against the Prince of the Milesians to kill him, but in passing they were all stopped by a bush that stood between the Prince and the magician, so that a flame arose and the bush withered and burned away.
    From that time the May bushes are lit by fire and left to burn, for so evil is carried away from the land, and we believe and know that no lightning nor thunder nor evil enchantments can ever enter a house, before which stands the sacred bush with the yellow flowers that represents the flame of fire, and the people dance around