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Transcripts count: 62
  1. Old Irish Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Elizabeth Roche
    Age
    13
    Informant
    Patrick Roche
    Age
    46

    written on it is given to a person to bring to a neighbours house. This person keeps up the fun by sending him to the next house and so on thus keeping the poor fool going all day. Youths also resort to many other tricks to fool each other on this day.

    May Day - Some people around our locality consider it most unlucky to whitewash or paper their homes on May Day or during the month of May as they believe it brings sickness and misfortune to the family and if they have any suck work in progress it is discontinued if there is no possibility of finishing it before the month of May. They also consider it a very bad sign for the fire to go out on May Day or to meet a red-haired woman on that morning.
    The "May Bush" - It is a

  2. May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Peggy Doyle
    Informant
    James Lawlor

    Customs were observed on certain days during the year, one of which was May Day.

    On May Day a bush was lighted and left to burn, and when it was burned it was said that all evil was carried away from the lands.
    Old people believe that no thunder, or lightning or any evil would enter a house before which stood that bush. It is said that a lighted May bush was first set up in honour of the great Milsesians, who gave battle to the Tuatha de Danams sent out men to capture the Prince of the Milsesians and kill him, but in passing they were all stopped by a bush, which stood between the chief and the magician so that a flame arose and the bush withered and burned away.
    On May Day a May pole was erected in every village. This was decorated with coloured papers, and ribbons hung from the top of it to the ground. Children gathered together and danced around it. Each caught a ribbon as they danced the ribbons twisted around the pole until they could twist no further. They danced in the opposite direction then and as they die so the ribbons

  3. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nellie Rashford
    Informant
    Philip Rashford
    Age
    60

    It is said that it is unlucky to go for milk on May Day. Long ago the old people usually got heath brooms to sweep the yards. It was regarded as a bad sign, to get one of those on a May Day.

    They say thay March is the luckiest month in the year to be born in. It is said any animal or child born on Whit Sunday is unlucky. The owner of the animal born

  4. Feasts of the Year

    Language
    English

    Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday :
    On Easter Saturday the people go to the church and get Easter Water. On Easter Sunday the people get blessed salt in the churches.

    Palm Sunday : On Palm Sunday all the people receive Blessed Palm from the Priest afte Mass. Every one eats three leaves and this is supposed to protect them from serious sickness for the rest of the year.
    May Day : People erect a May-bush on May Day. It is decorated with ribbons and flowers. On May Day altars are erected in the Catholics' schools, in honour of Our Lady.
    At the end of May the altars are taken down.
    Ash Wednesday : Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. On that day people go to the churches and have Blessed Ashes put on their foreheads by the priest,
    All Hallow E'en : On Hallow E'en it is the custom to have "snap -apple," It is played by hanging apples from the ceiling. The children take turns to try and catch the apples with their mouths. Who ever catches an apple with his mouth may keep it.

  5. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Margaret Walshe
    Informant
    Mrs M. Brennan
    Age
    70

    lid and when this glass is clear the churning is finished. The butter is washed in cold water to wash out the buttermilk. It is then put on a butter board to let the water run out of it. Then it is mixed, salted, weighed, and made into lbs of butter. People who go into the dary during churning help to churn to assure the owner that they will play no magic on the butter.
    It is said that people should not churn on May Day, and if they did the faries would take it that ight for the feast. People belive this very strongly and do not make butter on May Day. The butter milk is kept for making bread and it is better than any other kind of milk for that purpose.

  6. Festivals - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen Murphy
    Informant
    Francis Murphy
    Age
    35

    Some May Day customs still used in this district are
    On May Day no farmer's wife in the district would give away butter or milk for nothing because they would lose the profit of the dairy for a whole year.
    Lots of people here collect the dew early on May morning and put it in a bottle as this is supposed to cure any sickness for the year. Another belief in this district is, if people are afraid of having bad churnings during the

  7. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Anne Rochford

    in to the house and is put over the door. Everybody walks in under it. This is said to bring luck for the year.

    On May day we are supposed to get up at six o'clock before sunrise, and go out and skim the wells and say "I will have my milk and butter.
    If you change from one house to another on Saturday you will have bad luck.
    If you whitewash in May you sweep the luck away. May day the dirt swept from the floor should not be swept out the door but should be swept into the fire.
    Mary Anne Rochford 3.3.38

  8. Festivals - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen Murphy
    Informant
    Francis Murphy
    Age
    35

    for the year.
    No girl in this district would dream of getting married on May Day or even during the month of May or on a Friday.
    On May Day no one brings a dirty can to the well for fear it would vex the fairies and bring bad luck on them.
    An old custom that is always kept up here is the May Bush. The May Bush is held at a cross-road and all the young people gather at it. First a sgeac is got and decorated with ribbons, all sorts of sweets and lighted candles. In the evening the candles are lighted and all the young people and some of the older people too come and dance around it.
    When all the fun and dancing is over the sgeac is burned and its flames are supposed to take away all the evil spirits for the year.

  9. May Bushes

    Language
    English

    The children on May Day dress a furze bush with ribbons, rags coloured strings and egg shells, at a cross-roads or in front of their school, both in Co Wicklow and north Co. Wexford

  10. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    62

    smoke came a white horse upon which St Martin was seated. One of the fishermen had a Vision in which he saw a crowd of fishermen drowning and he told the others that it was'nt safe for to fish but they would'nt believe him and he went home and the others were drowned that night.
    May Day
    On May Day it is a general Custom to have a May Bush. This is made by getting a bush and decorating it with ribbons and flowers and coloured papers. Then there are candles placed all around on it which are lit at night after dark. In some places they make they make people pay going in to see the May bush and they put toys on the May bush and give something to each one. When the May bush is lit a crowd of children form a

  11. they all gather around the crossroad and burn all he sticks. The fire would last until about midnight. The people would wait until the fire would go out and then they would go home.

    "Chalk Sunday."
    On chalk Sunday the people of the house gather together. Each person who is not married has his back chalked.
    Halloween : A game played on Halloween is to put three saucers on the table in a ring. In one water is put, in another a ring and clay in another. The person would be blindfolded. If he touched the water he woud go across the sea the first. If the person touched the ring the person would be married the first. If he put his hand on the clay the person would be dead the first.
    May Day : On May Day some people get up very early in the morning to skim the well. The first person to skim the well will be able to take the peoples butter for a year. Othe people wash their faces in the May dew. It is supposed to make them good-looking.

  12. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    119

    Festival Customs
    May Day - The local children gather egg shells for the May bush many days before May Day. They colour these and hang them on the bush with coloured bits of paper or rags and some candles. The children join in a ring and dance round the May Bush, singing a song, and one child is crowned Queen of the May. Each child partaking, performs a little recitation or song or something.
    Hallow-e'en. On Hallowe'en night the local boys and girls dress up in all sorts of old clothes put masks on their faces, and go round to the neighbour's houses. They usually bring a mouthorgan or melodian with them, and the neighbours allow them to come in and they dance and sing. They are often recipients of barmbrack, colcannon, nuts etc. all of which are eaten locally at Hallow E'en

  13. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Margaret Larkin
    Informant
    Mrs Larkin
    Age
    37

    St. Patricks. It was an old custom to cut a furze stick and blacken it in the fire and make a cross outside on the arm with it. People also went from house to house to drink their "Patrick's pot" to "drown the Shamrock" as they said.
    Shrove Tuesday. On Shrove Tuesday if you never had a pancake for the year you were sure to have one on that day. In later years bracks and fancy cakes were made and rings put in them.
    Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday it was customary to get ashes no one was allowed to get a bit of food until after twelve o'clock. Even small children had to fast and the tea was drank without milk the bread was made with water.
    Good Friday. On Good Friday all the old people who were unable to attend the devotions went during the day and did the Stations.
    Easter Sun. and Mon. On Easter Sunday children and old people went from house to house looking for Easter eggs what they called their "Plydogue". They were kept until Easter Mon. when people feasted on them and wagered to see who would be able to eat the most eggs.
    May Day. On May Day there was a bush erected on the highest manure heap in the farmyard. Farm labourers

  14. Lore of the Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Peggy Murphy
    Informant
    Mr O. Murphy
    Age
    43

    Many rather strange things are believed about certain days of the week and of the year.
    It is said that if anybody churned on May Day the butter would be taken by the faries. On this account some people never churn on thay day. It is said that May Day and May Night is a time of the big fairy feasts.

    People believe that if millers work on St. Martin's Day, 11th Nov., they are to have bad luck the whole year.
    Fishermen do not put out their nets on St Thomas's Day 21st Day of Dec. They consider that if they fish on that day they will meet bad luck.
    It is said that if a person gets married on a Friday it is a sign of hard luck. This is not done around here for fear of the bad luck.
    If apple trees bloom in March it is said that the owner will have no apples that year. This however happens only sometimes.

  15. Local Cures

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Miss Mary Ann O' Connor
    Age
    80

    said Stephens and the man rose + drew a fork from the lame girl + she was cured.
    the same Stephens was the means of bringing back "profit" a certain farm
    He told the farmer tp physic his cows with a medicine he gave him and not to give anything on loan that day.
    A man came for the loan of a scythe, was refused. But he said "You sold your new milch cow in May and that is the cause of your trouble. The profit came back through using the medicine.


    This is another Story
    A journey man tailor was at work in a farmer's house. On May-day morn a woman came in for milk with the sole purpose of taking the profit (no milk was given on May day). There was a churn being made at this time. The tailor noticed the woman going off with a red turf cadhrán
    He immediately thrust a "coulter" into the fire + then under the churn + the cadrán went out immediately. The woman made 3 attempts always with the same result.

  16. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    Easter Saturday:
    A custom in this parish on this day is that of "gugging" Young boys and girls of school-going age "dress up", blacken their faces when they hard to recognize. Then they go around from house to house and demand "gugs (eggs) or money". They make no attempt to round off this bald request by anything like a song or rhyme.

    May Day:
    There is of course in every Catholic home have the May alter put up by the younger member of the family on this day.
    Then we have the May Bush carried in procession after the manner of the "Wren" bush on St. Stephen's day. The bush is generally a white-thorn one in flower. It is further decorated with candles, egg shells and streamers.
    The children sing during the May Bush Procession but the songs are not special ones.
    Cáilíni óga of the last generation got a snail to creep on the sand May Day morning the snail was supposed to 'trail' out the name of a future husband.

  17. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Informant
    J. Dempsey
    Age
    65

    May Day :
    In every Catholic home of the parish the may Altar is erected by the young members of the family.
    We also have the May bush carried in procession after the fashion of the "Wran bush" on St. Stephen's day. The bush is usually a white thorn in bloom. It is further decorated with candles egg shells etc.
    The children sign chorus songs during the procession.
    "Cailíní óga" of the last generation got a snail on May-day-morning + let it erect on sand, when it was supposed to trail out the name of their future husbands.

    The milk supply of the farm was supposed to be in danger + exposed to many powerful evils on this day + so the

  18. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patrick Kelly

    We have May day on the first day of May. On that day we have a bush called the May bush. At that time of the year the May bush is in bloom. We would stick a bush in the ground and put alot of things on it. We put coloured papers and wild flowers. Very few people puts up a may bush, because it is going out of fashion, and it was a custom long ago. Long ago they used to do more than now.

  19. Piseoga

    Language
    English
    Informant
    John Grace
    Age
    78

    Water without saying "Hugee[?]"
    The last corpse in the graveyard must mind it until the nest one comes along.
    Tis lucky to find you have put on a garment inside out.
    A mother should always throw the tongs across the cradle where the baby sleeps if she is leaving the house.
    When a young couple are getting married they should always bring a married man with them.
    When milking a cow that is after calving always milk the first drop on the ground for the fairies.
    You give away luck when you give away fire, butter or milk on May day.
    If a stranger milks the cow on May day there will be no milk for the family before the year is out.
    Guard the cattle from the fairies on the first three days of May, by fire, flowers and food, against which those mischievous spirits are powerless
    Guard the house by a string of primroses across the door on the first three days of May. The fairies can neither

  20. Festivals - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen Murphy
    Informant
    Francis Murphy
    Age
    35

    coming year they would "skim" the nearest well on May Eve and pour it into the churn. By doing this they are supposed to keep away all evil spirits.
    It is a popular belief in this district also that on May Eve at Sundown fairies dance on the grass especially near a well or a Masspath.
    In this district there is a house built between the raths in a place called Kilcorrel and here is a story about it.
    On the first May Eve that the people lived in this house the gable end fell out of it and a fairy was seen on the middle of the floor.The people of the house got such a fright that they brought in the priest to bless the place.
    The house is there still and the name of the man who owns it is Tom Doyle. He still lives there and if he is asked I am sure he will tell the story.
    It is said also that if you are out late on May Eve a light will lead you astray.
    Another old saying here is that it is unlucky to take a light from the fire on May Day.. The person who first enters a house on May Day should say "God save all here." If not the owners of the house would have bad luck