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Transcripts count: 57
  1. May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary A. Callan

    May-day is kept on the first of May. It is customary in this locality for the children to put up a May-bush on May-day and to decorate it with flowers. There is an old custom to go out before sunrise and wash your face in the dew and say the rosary and it will keep away any sore on your face for the year. There is another custom which forbids the giving away of any milk on May-day because you give away the luck of the milk and butter.

  2. May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Christopher Farrelly
    Age
    47

    On the eve of May day a May bush is made. It is erected in Honour of the Blessed Virgin. A white thorn bush is got and (with) wild flowers are tied to it in small bunches with coloured ribbons. Sometimes a picture of the Blessed Virgin is hung on it. This is a very old custom. On May day morning the person who is up first places it in front of the door or over it. Long ago people believed that no thunder nor lightning nor evil spirits would interfere with the house that had a May bush placed before it. Long ago the May bush was set on fire and the people would dance round it and pass the young children through the smoke to protect them from the power of witch-craft.
    (First m) Fire milk or butter were not given away on May day because they thought this would be giving away luck. Strange hands would not be allowed to milk a cow on May day because the fairies might take away her milk. People believe that if

  3. unable to turn the hand of the churn. She was very annoyed and she went to the priest. He instructed her to give a pound of butter to each of her neighbours. She did so and from that on her churnings were normal.
    It is a local May Day Custom to start children schooling in May Day. Most children commence their school career on May Day.

  4. Superstitions of May

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Anthony Mac Cormack
    Age
    13
    Informant
    Patrick Mc Cormack

    Superstitions of May
    People tie a red cloth around the cow’s tail on a May day to keep the fairies from taking the milk.
    A horse shoe is placed over the door as people say it will bring good luck.
    People do not give milk on a May day as they say it is unlucky.
    If certain people in parish meet a white horse on the road on a May day they will turn back as they say it is unlucky.
    People say it is unlucky to meet a lone magpie on the road on a May day.
    It you go into a house when there is churning in progress you should give a hand as it is said you bring away all the butter.

  5. May Day Superstitions

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Vera Smith

    May day superstitions did not quite die away yet. Many of the old people carry the old superstitions yet. May day is one of the most important days throughout the whole year.
    A turnip is placed at the entrance of the gate and a piece of may bush pierced into it to welcome everyone that visits the house and to bid welcome to the bright golden summer.
    The whole family wash their face, hands, and feet in the dew upon the dew on the grass, the face and hands are washed to prevent freckles and the feet is washed to keep away chilblanes.
    If a cow calves on May day it denotes good luck. A churning is always done on that day to have plenty of butter for the whole year, and if a person comes in to the house while the churning is going on they turn the handle to help to churn the cream so that they would not take the luck of the butter away with them.
    If a child is born in a house on a May day, it is supposed to see ‘the hundred’. Eggs are hatched to have plenty of luck ever after. Vera Smith. 5th May 1938

  6. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    May Day. The May bush is put up at every house here. The bush is cut the day before and bunches of flowers are tied on it - primroses cowslips and daisies. The bush is put opposite the front door and is left there all May Day. It is taken down in the evening.
    In the houses a May alter is erected in honour of Our Lady and every day the children gather fresh flowers to decorate it.

  7. Cures

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Mr Shannon

    Mr Shannon, Streete, Co. Westmeath says that if you churn butter on a May day and keep a portion of it over unsalted for twelve months it will remove a thorn.

  8. May Day Superstitions

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Jordan

    In olden times the Irish people were very superstitious and on May day especially. They practised many things that appear very foolish nowadays. For instance all who had cows wished to have a churning to make on May day, and if any neighbour chanced to come in during that operation they were expected to take a hand at the churn for fear of taking away the butter. They also disliked lending anything to a neighbour. Another practice was going out early while the dew was on the grass and bathing their faces with it, with the idea of preventing head-aches during the coming year.

  9. May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Rose Farrelly

    May day customs at the present day.
    On the first of May a May bush is put near the house. A branch of a white thorn is got and planted in a pot. Then small bunches of primroses, cowslips and daisies are tied to the bush with ribbons. A picture of the Blessed Virgin is hung on it. It is not put outside until May day, morning and it is sometimes left outside and covered during the night. It is erected in honour of the Blessed Virgin. An alter is decorated with flowers on the first of May

  10. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Rose Marshall
    Age
    14
    Informant
    Andrew Marshall

    Shrove Tuesday & Easter.
    On Shrove Tuesday pancakes are eaten on Easter Sunday we eat eggs for breakfast, and on the day before it, it is customary fo children to go about gathering 'clúdógs', which are eggs people give to children for Easter.
    May Day
    On May Day a white-thorn bush is got, and primroses, cowslips, and daisies, are gathered and tied on this bush. It is then placed in front of the house. This is called the "May Bush."

  11. Composition - Churning

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Patrick Geraghty
    Age
    43

    When the butter gathers in large lumps on the top of the milk the churning is said to be finished. The butter is then lifted out and washed many times with good spring water until all the milk is entirely removed. It is then salted and made into rolls.
    The buttermilk is used for making cakes and when it is plentiful it is given to calves.
    There are many saying connected with buttermaking. Some people say that it is not right to give away milk or butter on a May day or to give away milk while churning is in process. If this is done the receiver of the milk will have power to take away your butter. If churning is done on a May day nobody

  12. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Desmond Smyth
    Informant
    Mr G. Smyth

    It was an old custom for children to make a May-bush and dance around it. This bush was covered with wild flowers and the prettiest girl in the district was crowned as May Queen.
    People who charmed away their neighbour's butter long ago would have to be out early on the first of May carrying the hand of a dead child.
    They would have to walk through the meadow belonging to the person whose butter they were about to take, saying "All the butter in this land gather around this dead hand."
    Long ago the people would give up buying candles on May Day because you were supposed to do all your work in the day light. It was an old saying "May day throw the candle away".

  13. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Rose Neill

    Shrove Tuesday.
    Long ago the people used to go about singing and dancing on Shrove Tuesday but lthat custom has died out. Nowadays the people make pancakes they also make sweet-cakes and put rings in them. They say that who ever gets the ring will be married first.

    May Day.
    On May day people wash their face with the dew of the grass. They say the dew keeps them from getting sun burned for the rest of the Summer.
    The sweet young maid on the first of May
    Who goes to the fields at break of day.
    And washes in the dew by the hawthorn tree
    Shall always gay, and happy be.
    The people decorate the Blessed Birgin on May day and she remains so for the rest of the month. The month of May is also counted an

  14. May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Christopher Farrelly
    Age
    47

    they put the cows out on new grass and tied a red string on their tail they would have luck with them the following year.

    This information was supplied by Christopher Farrelly, aged 47
    May day customs at the present day.
    On the first of May a May bush is put near the house. A branch of a white thorn is got and planted in a pot. Then small bunches of primroses, cowslips and daisies are tied to the bush with ribbons. A picture of the Blessed Virgin is hung on it. It is not put outside until May day morning and it is sometimes left outside and covered during the night. It is erected in honour of the Blessed Virgin. An alter is decorated with flowers on the first of May.

  15. Bob Buckley and the Pooka

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Elizabeth Davitt
    Occupation
    teacher

    During the few weeks that intervened between Easter Sunday and May Day we three youths were punctual in our evening visits to Darby Gallagher's domicile but tho we adopted many ruses and performed many friendly offices we failed in our attempts to elicit another story from the Shanachie relating to the "good people."
    The reason however became sufficiently apparent when we listened to his hard cough and short respiration, he was not in proper form. "Just a sleeahawn of a

  16. Buying and Selling

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Máire Áine Ní Lorcháin
    Informant
    Patrick Larkin

    The people had names for all the coins long ago and we hear them still. A half penny was called "a make" a sixpence a "tanner" a shilling a "bob" a pound a "quid" and a five pound note a "fiiver". It was considered unlucky to sell milk on May day. Markets were mostly held long ago. These markets were held in Killucan and Delvin but they are not held there now. There are accounts of Huxters shops in this district yet.

  17. Emblems and Objects of Value

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nancy Rabbitt
    Age
    15
    Informant
    Mrs Rabbitt
    Age
    43

    In almost every house in this district certain articles are placed in position in honour of a Saint. On St. Brigids day people make crosses and they hang them up on the wall. On May day people get a May-bush and they put it in front of the house and they decorate it with flowers. On Palm Sunday the priest distributes palms to the people in honour of Our Lord's Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem when the people strewed branches along the road to welcome Him.

  18. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    May Day
    Here on May Eve all the crops must be sown and the "dung" (manure) heap cleaned out ready for the May bush. There is a branch of a tree cut and decorated with flowers. The first flowers are put on "in the name of the father son and holy Ghost"
    Any flowers that are over are strewn on the doorstep.
    You should always wash your face in the dew on May morning and you will always have a good complexion.
    On May Day long ago people used to steal the butter off the churns. This is how it was done. The oldest woman would go to the running stream and cut the water with a shears and say "All to be , All to me". When the people

  19. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mairséal Ní Mhaoileoin

    Saint Brigid: On he second of February is he feast of Saint Brigid. Long gao it was the custom that all the neighbours gathered bundles of (straw) and made hats called Brigid's mats.
    Saint Patrick Day: This festival falls on the 17th of March. The custom is to wear shamrocks in our hats of button holes as a souvenier of our faith to Christianity
    May Day The first of May is called May day, The children in most parts of the country cut a may-bush and decorate it with flowers. It is also said that anyone rising early on May morn and faces with the dew of the grass, never gets sunburned.
    15th August Feast of our Lady. We celebrate this day as one of our greatest Catholic holidays.
    9th June This feast is called Peter and Paul's day. A huge fire is lit at some crossroads, called the Bon-fire. All the neighbours gather together and dancing and singing continues until all hours

  20. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Frances Fitzsimons

    If you have not a halfpenny God Bless you"
    St. Patrick's ; On St. Patrick's day all the people used to get blind drunk and drown their shamrocks in the public house. This custom has died now. During lent no Ceidhles are held but on St. Patrick's night there is a ceidhle in every hall.
    Shrove Tuesday ; On this day there are pancakes made in every house. Long ago all the people in this district used to be running to get married on Shrove tuesday night.
    Ash Wednesday ; all the people go to mass and get blessed ashes on their foreheads on ash Wednesday morning
    Holy Thursday ; The people go to mass and the children walk in the procession.
    Good Friday ; Garlic is set on this day. The eggs laid on Good Friday are kept and marked with a cross as they will keep fresh for twelve months.
    May Day; On May day all the children make a May bus and an altar in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    Hallow eve ; On hallow Eve night the children duck in a tub of water for apples and money. On a cross which they hang out of the ceiling they put a candle on one end and an apple on the other end. The children close their eyes and try to get a bite of the apple but instead they get a bite the candle. They get an apple and peel it without breaking the skin from beginning to end. Next they throw the skin across their shoulder and they will see the initials of the boy they are going to marry. The men go out and take wheels off the carts and put them