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Transcripts count: 33
  1. (no title)

    If May Day is bright and clear...

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eibhlís Ní Cholmáin
    Occupation
    teacher
    Informant
    Kathleen Meade

    If May Day is bright and cleat it is the sign of a good Summer. To protect themselves from evil spirits the fire is put out the day before May Day and not lit till after the milking time on May Day. If they don't do that they can make no butter on May Day

    It is unlucky to pay anything on a Monday for you will be paying all the week
    Green is supposed to be an unlucky colour. It brings death or sickness or disappointment

  2. May Bushes

    Language
    English

    May bushes or May "babbies" were cut on May Eve, decorated with all sorts of wild and garden flowers and left settled outside the doors of the houses for May Day. This custome is kept up by some people yet.

    Now-a-days the children gather large yellow flowers, which grow along the riverside called (-) and throw them upon the house tops for May Day in honour of that day. The decorated May bush is no longer seen in Termonfeckin.

  3. Sleeveen Saturday

    Language
    English

    The three Saturdays after May Day used be called hiring days. The first two Saturdays , the fine

  4. May Day

    Language
    English

    The first day in May is called May Day. Many customs are observed on that day, and on the evening before. May flowers are gathered on the banks of the rivers, and it is an old custom to throw them up on the roof of the house, and a bunch each side of the door, and on the window sills. A bush is also erected in the yard and the flowers are tied in bunches and hung on it, and it is called the "May Bush". This is done to welcome the Blessed Virgin, and to bring luck to the house.

    In some parishes there is a procession held on May Day, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, and girls march in white dresses and veils.

  5. (no title)

    On May Day morning they say...

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eibhlís Ní Cholmáin
    Occupation
    teacher
    Informant
    Mrs Mc Quillian
    Age
    45

    On May Day morning they say evil old women change into hares and that they hunt the cows round the milking field so that they lose their milk and the milk will be very scarce from that on
    Green branches of trees are brought to the house on May morning but no may flower should be brought inside the house
    On May Day unmarried people get a snail and put it on a big plate after scattering flour lightly on the plate. The snail crawls round the plate and from the track it makes they make out the name of the person they are to marry.

  6. May Day Lore

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eveline Byrne

    On May Morning before sunrise go out to the garden and the first snail you see, take it up and put it on a plate sprinkled lightly with flour. Place a cabbage leaf over it and so leave it until after sunrise when you find the initial letters of your future husbands name traced on the flour.
    Should the snail be quiet within his shell when you take him up your lover will be rich, but should the snail be almost out of his shell then your future husband will be poor, and probably will have no house or home to take you to when you wed him.
    People would not give fire away on May Day and if any food boiled, roast, or baked is left over from May Eve to May Day it must not be eaten.
    On May morning the peasant girls delight in gathering "May Dew" before sunrise to beautify their faces and they believe that the sun will then have no power over their complexions to spoil them by the summer heat, and no fire should be lighted in any home until the smoke is seen rising from the chimney of the priests house. Many of the old customs still remain. Among others it is

  7. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Treasa Wall
    Age
    14
    Informant
    Mr Evers
    Age
    40

    People in the country dont light the fire till after the cows are milked on May Day for fear any wicked woman would cast a spell on their butter and draw it away. They say the evil woman watches and if she sees the smoke before the milking she throws a ball of something stiff in the shape of a roll of butter towards the smoke saying Butter of this smoke on my milk and so on till she has the butter taken with her.

  8. May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Treasa Wall
    Age
    14
    Informant
    Mr Carroll
    Age
    50

    jumps up and goes to a holly bush and breaks a branch off hazel elder ash mountain ash and brings them into the house. It is bad luck to bring the flowers of a aloe bush. Flowers are thrown on the roof of the house on May day to keep bad luck away.

  9. May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Treasa Wall
    Age
    14
    Informant
    Mr Carroll
    Age
    50

    People bring the Summer in before the sunrise on May Day morning. If the sun rises before they bring it in they wont get their share of the summer that year. On that account they have a person watching the break of day to be up and green branches to bring in. When the morning breaks the watcher

  10. May Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Lily Armstrong
    Age
    14

    On the eve of May day. The people in our district gathered may flowers primroses and gorse, and those were thrown on top of the houses and hung in bunches over the door. This was done so as to keep off the fairies who would put bad luck on the house during the year. This custom is still practiced in many houses.

    Lily Armstrong, November 16 - 1938, Age 14 years

  11. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maisie O' Brien
    Informant
    (name not given)
    Age
    50

    Ash Wednesday

    On Ash Wednesday people drink black tea, and eat bread without butter. Fish and jam are used instead.
    Easter Saturday
    On Easter Saturday children go around and ask for their Easter "cludóg" (A collection of eggs.)
    Easter Sunday
    On Easter Sunday children go out and have picnic's in the fields. They boil eggs and stew apples.
    May Day
    On May Day, people make a May bush, and on May Eve, people throw May flowers on the house.
    Hallowéen
    On Hallowéen people have a feast and they play games. They roast nuts on the bar of the fire and the first one that falls will be married.

  12. May Lore

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Freda Mc Keown

    It was a custom around here long ago and it still is. On May Eve to gather May flowers and throw them up on the roofs of the houses and it is supposed to keep bad luck from the house. Another May Eve custom was to erect a May Bush and dress it with flowers and coloured ribbons and in the evening all the young people of the place would gather together and they would dance and sing round the bush and they would have great sport until bedtime. Then they would light the bush and the smoke from it was supposed to keep out all evil spirits during the year. A very old custom around here was to have a May Queen on May Eve all the girls of the place would gather together and they would choose the prettiest girl as May Queen. On May Day they would have a procession and they would have

  13. May Day Traditions

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Margaret Mathews
    Informant
    Mrs Neal

    On May day if a person goes out very early in the morning and washes her face in the dew, it is said that she will always have a beautiful complexion.
    When the weather is fine on the first of May the children get a doll and go around from house to house. Long ago the people cut a May bush and put it in the manure heap if they had any and they

  14. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    candles in honour of the day. There is an old saying about Candlemas day.

    Candlemas day be fair and clear you'll have two winters in one year
    Saint Patricks Day :-
    On Saint Patricks Day the people ware a shamrock in their breast.
    It is said that the men go to the public house and drown their shamrocks in whiskey.
    Saint Swithens Day :-
    It is said that if it rains on Saint Swithens day it will rain for forty days and forty nights.
    May Day :-
    An old woman who lives in this district went out one may morning with a sheet and dragged it along the grass.
    When she did this a few times she went into the house and wrung the dew off the sheet into a crock. This is how she stole the butter from her neighbours.
    On may day the children make may bushes and put them in front of their houses.
    They also throw may flowers on the roofs of their houses.

  15. Folktales - Lochán an Ghréasaí

    Language
    English
    Informant
    James O' Hanlon
    Age
    circa 60
    Occupation
    poet

    the month of April, and far into it. Why, next Tuesday is May Day." "Well, that's only four days from now. You just make a good straw rope and have it ready for that morning. Rise before the sun, and an hour or so before your shoemaker leaves his bench. Take your rope with you and draw it in the dew until it is completely wet. Make a wide circle at first round where the cobbler sits, and make it narrower as you go round for nine times, repeating the words each time, "Sleep good people, Sleep." In the ninth round you will be beside your sleeping fairy, and you may then do with him as you wish. So, good evening and thank you. I must push on a bit further."
    The old man left but Paddy did not forget his advice. On May morning before sunrise, Paddy Cassidy had the fairy shoemaker securely bound in his dew wet rope and he plunged him into the deep hole in Lochan an Ghreasai, from which the fairy steer used to emerge.

    As told by James O'Hanlon (aged about 60) of Castletown Cooley. Seamus is a poet, and writes occasionally for the newspapers.

  16. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Donal Butterly
    Informant
    (name not given)
    Age
    40

    St. Patricks Day

    The people gather Shamrock the day before, and they wear a little bunch in honour of him. There are processions in many places and playing of music. The Irish abroad look upon it as the greatest day in the year.
    May Day
    On May Eve there is an old custom to put a hawthorn bush along a wall and shake some flowers on it, in honour of May, and the

  17. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Peggy O' Reilly

    comes in it is a custom to take a 'breach' so as not to take the butter away.
    Another custom was, that a person comes in and puts a coal in their pipe it was considered unlucky.
    If buttermilk or even fresh milk was given, a pinch of salt was put in it to keep the luck, but under no circumstances was milk given on May Day, and a red ribbon was tied on the cows' tails to guard them against bad luck.

  18. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maureen Devin

    On St Brigid's eve crosses were made of rushes and hung up over the house and cowshed door. On St. Patrick's Day the shamrock or other emblem is worn, but that night the men drown the shamrock, by drinking whiskey.
    On May eve, may bushes are put up outside the door.
    A branch is cut off a thorn and decorated with spring flowers. On May day, if whoever went first to the well, threw butter cups into it, the people going to that well would have no butter on the milk for the year. Also you gave away luck if you

  19. (no title)

    It is unlucky to dig a grave on a Monday.

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eibhlís Ní Cholmáin
    Occupation
    teacher
    Informant
    Bean Uí Mhaolchathaigh

    It is very unlucky to bring rushes into a house on a Friday. Even long ago when they used them for lights instead of candles they never brought them in on a Friday
    It is very unlucky to bring hawthorn blossoms into the house on May Day but you can put them up outside.

    It is unlucky to begin any work on a Thursday. Some Thursday in the year is called Black Thursday and as it is not known which it is people are afraid to begin any work on a Thursday.
    The foundation of a new house should not be laid on a Thursday

  20. St. Brigid's cross was made with rushes. The people still make St. Brigid's cross on the first of Frbruary. They gather a bunch of rushes and they work them in the shape of a cross. They put them out in the out - houses to bring good luck to the cattle. Some people put them in the kitchen also.
    On Palm Sundays the palm that the people got blessed they always put it over the fire place. They usually put it behind the clock. They said that it was very lucky to keep the blessed palm in the house. They kept it behind the clock until the next year when it was burned.
    On St. Patricks Day the old people made crosses of straw like the cross that they made for St. Brigid's feast day. They kept the crosses out in the out - houses.
    On May Day the people would go out and gather a bunch of primroses and they a bush and put them on it. It is still done. They