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Transcripts count: 87
  1. May Day Superstitions

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Brigid Corristine
    Informant
    Brigid Mc Loughlin

    May day is one of the unlucky days of the year. It is one of the lucky to lend or borrow anything on May day. If a person goes to another person's lyre and milks his cows the former can bring the butter from the latter.
    If you do not mix the spring and summer's milk on may day it leaves the milk easily churned for the rest of the year. The person who has the first smoke up May morning can bring the butter for the rest of the year. May flowers are scattered about [about] the doors for the luck on the eve of May day.

  2. Superstitions

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Cecil Keyes

    Do not churn on May day. Throw Mayflowers outside your door May Eve and leave them there until May Day and it will keep away all illness until the next May Day. It is unlucky to marry on in May. If two of the same family get married in the one year except it be on the same day it is unlucky. Keep a lone shoe in the fire and it will bring good luck. When you see the new moon for the first time say a prayer and turn something in your pocket and you will have luck. It is unlucky to see the new moon for the first time through glass. It is unlucky to enter a doorway with a weapon

  3. Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Winnie Mc Cabe
    Informant
    John Beirne
    Age
    53

    It is supposed to be unlucky to give away milk on May Day. There are many superstitions in regards to this day. Long ago butter was taken on May Day. A priest having heard about a certain woman who took the butter followed her on May Day. The district through which they passed was thickly hedged. The woman always kept on one side of the hedge and the priest on the other. As she went through each man's land she said "Half for you and half for me." The priest repeated this after her and when the woman churned the next day the churn was full of butter.

  4. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Gearóid Ó Céileachair
    Occupation
    múinteoir
    Informant
    Francis Earley
    Age
    75

    5. They believed that if there were an increase in your stock (cattle for example) on May-day you would not have "as large a count" on the following May-Day.
    6. They had superstitions regarding as they said "the first smoke," that is, there were slow in lighting their fires on May-day - John preferred to see the smoke curl from his neighbor's chimney before if would rise out of the chimney of his own house.
    Francis Earley (75)
    Eden, Downs

  5. Beliefs and Customs in connection with May-day, and other days, throughout the year, in Drumkeeran district
    ---------------
    In this district, the old people say, that you will have ill-luck throughout the year if you throw out any ashes or sweepings on May-day.
    ---------------
    On May-eve all the children are sent out to gather prim-roses (known in this district as "May-flowers"). These flowers are scattered all around the dwelling houses and out-houses, and it is believed, that this will keep away all bad luck during that year.
    ---------------
    Some of the old farmers of this district, sit up all night before May-day to guard the cows. It is believed that if any of the neighbours milk the cows that night, you will have no butter on the milk from that on.

  6. Pistreoga - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Seán Ó Céilleachair
    Occupation
    múinteoir

    [Hove?] the first gallon of water out of the wells in your neighbourhood May morning.
    Give out no milk May Day.
    Let no one light his pipe in your house May day and above all let no one take out a coal or sod of turf for pipe lighting.
    On May Eve sprinkle the door with May flowers. Scatter May flowers on door step.
    On May day morning you should go out and be sure you see three smokes before you light your own fire.
    Throw out no ashes on May Day.

    Hallow Eve.
    Never eat a blackberry a raspberry or a sloe after that day. The Puckey dirties on them Hallow Eve.

  7. (no title)

    People do not eat meat on a Wednesday for the cure of a toothache...

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael Gray
    Informant
    Peter Mulvey

    People do not eat meat on a Wednesday for the cure of a toothache. The people scatter flowers outside the house on May day. It is not lucky for people to go into a neighbour's house on New Year's day. May day is lucky for giving butter to the neighbours. The old people said it was lucky to get married on Friday. The people sow seed on Good Friday. If your dream you are a millionaire on Christmas night you will be a tramp.

  8. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    her. Then they made the rush crosses. They plaited the rushes together. Then they put the crosses behind the "couples" of the house and some were placed in the cowhouses to bring good luck on the cattle.

    Good Friday
    It is lucky to plant or sow on Good Friday. It is usual to plant some potatoes on that day. Potatoes planted then will grow well and there will be no "blanks" in them.
    May Day
    If you give away anything on May Day, you will have no luck that year. On May Night, Rowan branches are put in the byres to save the cattle. May Day is dangerous for cattle. The ashes should not be put out on May Day.
    St. Martin's Day
    On St. Martin's Day a cock is killed in honour of the saint. When the woman is killing the cock, she lets a few drops of blood fall on the four corners of the house for good luck.
    Easter Sunday
    On Easter Sunday morning, people get up early to see the sun dancing. It is said that the sun dances three times on Easter Sunday morning. On Easter Saturday children go out collecting eggs. They bring turf to a selected place adn made a fire and boil the eggs and have a feast. This is called "prochogs".
    Twelfth Night
    On the Twelfth Night each person in the house lights a candle at the same time and the person whose candle quenches first

  9. May Day Superstitions

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Brigid Curristine
    Informant
    Paddy Dolan
    Age
    55

    It is a superstition to throw May flowers about the streets on May eve.


    It is a superstition to tie red tapes on the cattle tails on May Day.

    Another is that no tools or other things belonging to the house should be given away May Day.

    No butter or milk should be given away on May Day.

    People say if you mix Spring and Summer milk it will be very hard churned.

    If there is a hare running from cow to cow on May morning the butter will be taken away.

  10. Festival Customs

    On Shrove Tuesday it was customary not to drink milk in (their) tea, or eat bread made with milk.

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Bridgie Doran

    26

    People do not work on Good Friday till after 3 o'clock.
    It is not right to go near water on Whit Sunday. People do not go fishing on that day.
    You will give away your luck if you give out butter, or milk or salt or a cole or to throw out the sweepings or ashes on May day. People do not churn on May day because they would lose the butter for twelve months.
    On May Eve May flowers are picked and strewn in a pass outside the door, so the Virgin Vary may find her way into the house on May morning. It is thought unlucky to bring the flowers into the house.
    It is believed to be a cure for sore ears if you wash them with dew before sun-rise on May morning.
    Freckles may be cured and you will not get sunburned if you wash your with dew before sunrise on May day.

  11. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maureen Mc Sharry
    Informant
    Mrs Hugh Mc Sharry
    Age
    48
    Informant
    Mrs James Donohue
    Age
    68

    On May eve May flowers are got and thrown at the dwelling house door and at all the out house doors after the sun sets to have luck with everything for the coming year but the flowers should not be taken into the house. On May morning when you get up you should not put on the fire until you see that your neighbours have it on first. Long ago people used to put on the fire and some of the [?] women of the district would get up out of bed, go out and get a rope or twine and say "that womans butter to me" so they used take the butter, and when the other person would churn she had no return of butter, that is the reason why you should not be first to have smoke on May morning. Milk should not be given either May day without putting a good quantity of salt on it, but that is only for a drink but if people want milk for tea or anything else and to buy it they should go for it on May eve. The reason it should not be given on May day is because they who are getting it might take the butter. In former times people used get up at four or five oclock on May morning to be the first at the well and everything they would meet on their way going and coming from the well, pieces of sticks and wisps they gathered them, the reason of going to the well first is, that your butter will not be

  12. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nan Scanlon

    If a boy is going to be married he should buy the wedding clothes on May Day because it is thought that he will have good luck while he is alive if he does so. The bride should not buy her wedding dress on May Day because she will have no luck during her life if she does.

    On “Little Christmas “ night long ago the people of this locality used put nine home made candles on the window, this was done to show welcome to any tramps or people who might have no friends or no home, that would be out that night. Before they would go to bed on that night also they would say the Rosary for all the poor people who had nobody to pray for them.

  13. Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Ellie J. Feeney
    Informant
    Mrs B. Feeney

    Some people say that it is very unlucky to get married on a Friday or Saturday, it is also very unlucky to be born on a Tuesday. It is very lucky to get married on a Wednesday. June is the best month of the year to be born in. It is very happy for the bride which the sun shines on and it is very happy for a dead person which the rain falls on.
    If you borrow anything on May day it will cause you a lot of misfortune. Monday is a lucky day to begin ploughing. It is very unlucky to start sowing any seed on a Saturday. May Day is an unlucky day to throw out anything as you are throwing away your luck. If a man goes into a house first on New Years Day, He will bring in a lot of luck with him.

  14. Losing the Butter

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Bridie Kelly
    Informant
    Francis Kelly
    Age
    circa 60

    his cows' milk. One morning he saw the hare running from his cow house and he set two hounds on her trail. They followed her for about two miles and then one of them took a bite out of her leg as she was going through a window of a house. It was known that an old woman who lived in that house wasn't able to sit down for a long time afterwards.
    The worst agent of all was the person or persons who went round with the "Rope" on May day and collected all the butter in that district for the whole year. They way to counteract this was to not let any ashes out of the house from 30th April until 2nd May.
    There was one man specially distinguished for taking the butter with the "Rope" on May day. It was his usual time for interfering with the butter though he used sometimes take it apart from May day. This man could perform almost anything as well as taking away one's butter, when he dressed in a red cloak.
    On one occassion while this magician was on a visit to Bundoran a woman who was boarding in the same house as himself expressed a wish while at breakfast with him one morning that she had her own butter from home with her, as the butter that was served was bad and tasted worse. He immediately asked her permission to present her with her own butter. Having got her permission he went into another room and just took his red cloak and a bottle of water with him. In a few minutes the woman's own butter was placed on the breakfast table before her.
    When the woman went home her people told her that they had "lost" while she was in Bundoran.
    This magician's power was compared with the power

  15. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Rose Galligan
    Informant
    Thomas Fox
    Age
    86

    Many customs are observed on each Feast Day for instance on May day people gather daisies and through them on the door step. In Hallow'e'en boy's throw cabbage head at other people head[?] People put two nuts on the grate if the two nuts burn out slowly together they will be married but if one runs away from ther[?] won't be married Fairies are supposed to go around on that night spitting on the black-berries. In St Stephen Day the wren[?] boys go around and beg money

  16. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Margaret Mary Gilligan
    Age
    13
    Informant
    Thomas Kelly
    Age
    65

    When churning is going on in a house any one coming in must take a brash. That keeps them from taking the butter. No one must take a coal out when churning is going on. This taking a coal applies to may day whether churning is going on or not.

  17. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maureen Mc Sharry
    Informant
    Mrs Hugh Mc Sharry
    Age
    48
    Informant
    Mrs James Donohue
    Age
    68

    taken and the reason of gathering the pieces of sticks and wisps was to prevent diseases for the coming year they used keep them safely and before a cow would calve they used tie one of these little pieces of sticks to her tail so that her calf would be lucky. When one person would be going to the well if there happened to be another person coming at the same time to the same well both would hurry, each trying to be first, and they used be fighting and spilling the water th[?] at the well until very often some of the neighbours would have to come and make peace between them. When you get up out of bed on a May morning, if you go out and wash your face with the dew on the grass and let it dry with the sun, your face will be as fresh that day twelve months as it was on that day, and also if you wash your hands with the dew on that morning you will be able to open a knot on a rope or twine no matter how hard it may be. It is not right to clean out the byre on May day or the ashes should not be put out either on that morning. When the floor is swept the sweepings should be kept inside and the dirty water should not be thrown out either. It is not lucky to throw out anything on May day, it should not be thrown out until the next day.

    Whit Sunday
    If a child or anything is born on Whit Sunday or Whit Monday

  18. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Mrs B. Mc Morrow
    Occupation
    teacher

    Whit Sunday:
    Anyone born on Whit Sunday is supposed to have the power of injuring anything they fire at.

    May Day:
    It is said that some people used to "work spells" on that day for the purpose of taking the butter off their neighbour's milk. I heard a story about a man who was working such a spell. He had a ball of yarn and he stood winding it and saying "Gather all to me". Whilst acting thus, he turned to all four points of the compass. Another man, who was looking on said in joke "Come half to me". Next time this man churned he had so much butter that the churn overflowed and the butter spread out all over the floor. He had to go for the priest to get matters rectified. Rose Cullen of Corranmore told me about another woman who could take the butter off her neighbours' milk. She had a very sore toe, which she was supposed to have sold to the devil in order to be able to work her spells. Rose Cullen also told me that if you went out very early on May Day and pulled a "heather scrub" in each of three townlands, you could take as much of the butter as you liked from these townlands. People were afraid to put on a fire early on May morning, lest some of these people working spells should be tempted to take the butter from them, when