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  1. Feast-Days - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    James Rhatigan
    Informant
    Pat Flynn
    Age
    63

    they could not get any milk. They used to put a coal under the churn on May Day to have plenty of butter. The first to skim the well on May morning would have the most butter. It was not to put out ashes on May day or to clean out cabins on May day. The old people used to have everything done the evening before.

    One May night as the fairies were going about they went in to John Machen's house. They put down a fine fire and they began dancing and playing music and shouting. At last they went up stairs and they began shouting and they wakened John Machen. When John got up in the morning he saw the fire down and said that the fairies must play wondours.
    It is not right to change money or buy anything on May Day. If you would make the churning on May day you would not have any butter again for the year. If May day is fine we will have a fine Sumer, but if May Day is wet we will have a bad Sumer.

  2. May Day and May Eve

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Michael Durkan
    Age
    71

    If someone comes to your house for milk on May Day and if you begrudge it to them your cows will have no more milk or butter for that year but if you do not begrudge it you will have a lot of milk and butter for that year. On May Day if you milked your neighbours cow your cow would have the milk and butter of that cow for that year. The old people used to tie the May flowers round their cows horns so that their cows would have a lot of milk for that year. If you got up at six o'clock May morning and wash your face with the dew and dry it with the sun you would have good luck for that year. It is not right to let out any cow until after twelve o'clock on May Day because the fairies might steal them. If you put down a clutch of duck eggs in the middle of May Day you would have all ducks and if you put them down before the sun gets up or after it goes down you will have all drakes. If you cut your finger with a stone on May Day it will never get better. You will have bad luck for the year if you give away salt or a coal on May

  3. unnecessary work on that day.
    On May-day there are a lot of Pishrogues carried out by the old people. The old people would not give away milk on May day because they say your cows wont have muck milk for the coming year and there won't be much cream on their milk for that year. Another custom on May-Day, the old people say is if you wash your face in the dew on May Day before sunrise you will not have any pimples or boils or any sort of rashes on your face or skin for the coming year. The old people would not send out a coal of the fire on May day and if they sent out a coal on any other day during the

  4. (no title)

    The old people say that if anyone comes in while the churning is being made, they should say God bless the work or take the dash, or churn a while...

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patrick Mac Donagh
    Age
    12
    Informant
    Thomas Colleran
    Age
    80

    If anyone comes in and brings a coal out with him they say he will bring the butter with him so he would have to come back again and bring the ashes with him and put it under the churn. If you wash your face in dew May day before the sun rises you will not be sick for the year. If you meet a red haired woman May day you will not have luck for the year. The old people say they used to take the butter from one another long ago. They used to make charms and when they used to make a churning they could not get any butter because it would be taken. The cows snuff the grass three times May day

  5. May Day

    Language
    English

    May Day :-
    On the Eve of May Day the old people used to collect herbs and cow-slips from the pasture fields and rub the Cows' udders with them. That was supposed to keep the butter from being taken from them. People don't give out milk on May Day, or a live coal, the

  6. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Bridgie Mc Hale

    In olden times May day was a very holy day in Ireland. The people used to scattre flowers around their doors to welcome the month. They also used to put up a little alter to welcome the Blessed Virgin. Nowadays May day is kept like any other ordinary day. It is an old saying what ever day May day will fall on Christmas day will fall on the same day. The people pray very much to the Blessed Virgin because this is the month she died in and she will give any gift you ask for. In the month of May all the flowers begin to grow and everything begins to it seems to start a new life.

  7. May Day Customs VII

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen Hynes
    Informant
    Mrs Devane
    Age
    50

    When the cow was milked a cross was made on her back and side so that the cow would have plenty of milk for the year. On May Day long ago the dead used come back and visit their friends. A man in this parish died and on May Day he visited his brother in England as he had promised to do so before he died.

  8. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael Mc Nulty

    Long ago the old people would not give away milk on May Day for fear the butter would be brought on them. They also believed that if a person washed his face in the dew on on May Day morning before the sun got up he would not get sunburned.

  9. Different Things for April

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Martin Armstrong

    it is not right to give out any milk on May day.
    If you wash your hands in the dew on May morning you will be able to loosen all the knots for the year.
    It is right to leave a piece of a black thorn bush across the milk on May day so that no other one could bring it.
    If you wash your face in the dew on May day you wont be sick until May day again.
    It is not right to give out

  10. Emblems and Objects of Value

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Katie M. Walker
    Informant
    Miss Flanagan

    Certain branches are used as decoration such as holly and laurel during Christmas.
    On May day there is another branch called, the whin. Branches of the whins are hung on the trains on May day.
    On May day some people get up very early. The first thing they do is to go out to the nearest "hery-kery bush. They pick three branches of it when they go home they tie it around

  11. Particular Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maggie Mc Gee
    Informant
    Patrick Mc Gee

    The people of long ago had superstitious day.
    On New Year's day people welcome a dark haired boy to come to their homes to bring them good luck for the year.
    On May day people very seldom give out milk or they very seldom put out ashes because every body says it is not right to give out milk or put out ashes on May day.
    They used to make an altar on May day and they used to pull May flowers and put

  12. May Day

    Nobody likes to light the first fire in the village on May Day. Women go out on May morning churning the water of a stream between two townlands, they do that to home the water butter of all the townlands during the year. Women also go out drawing a sheet on the dew of the grass, saying while doing so Im a dhá bhaile so ar mo chuid bainnse come butter come.
    On May day people should not light till they see another fire lit. Some people bring in a daisy and put

  13. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nellie Egan

    hail Marys in honour of the blessed Virgin and ask God to send everything easy to you for the year and he would.
    On May morning it isn't right to put out the ashes. To put it in a bucket and leave it in the house.
    Some people don't like to give away a coal on May day and other people will give them away just the same as any other day. Anyone don't like to lend anything out of the house on May day. They say you will give away all the milk and butter of the cows until May day again.

  14. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Anthony Wallace

    If you wash your hands in the dew on May Day morning before the sun gets up, you will be able to loosen any knot for the year.

    They say if you give away any milk or butter on May Day you will have no milk or butter for a year.
    Once my grandfather and grandmother was walking on a May Day and a form of a sac heart and little bits taken out of it all about and any beast or person that would be sick and get a drink of the back of it would get better again so she gave it to some one

  15. Halloween and other Feast-Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Annie Fallon
    Informant
    Mr John Harley

    would marry would have a crooked neck.
    The girls used also get the first egg that a black pullet would lay and break it and get full of the shell of oatmeal, and full of the shell of salt and milk and make three little cakes, and eat one and leave one at the door and put the other under their pillows and they would dream during the night of the man they would marry.
    May Day
    On May day the young girls especially wash their faces in the morning dew. This they thought preserved their beauty from the ravages of the hot summer's sun. On that morning too a small haw-thorn brush is placed outside the front door. It is decorated with multi-coloured ribbons which flutter in the breeze. This custom is said to prevent the fairies or good people from entering the house. It is customary in Ireland to give milk to the neighbours who are without it but on May day not a drop is given lest the milk would go to the "cows horn".

  16. Feast-Days - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    James Rhatigan
    Informant
    Pat Flynn
    Age
    63

    There are many old sayings about May day. In olden times the people used to have the house very neat and tidy because on that night the fairies used to go from house to house dancing and playing music. I twas not right to milk cows on that day.
    There was once an old woman and she milked all her neighbour's cows on May day and when her neighbours went to milk their cows.

  17. Festivals

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen Mc Nicholas
    Informant
    Mrs Mc Nicholas

    such as getting a tub, filling it with water, and putting an apple into it in order to catch it. Then the child who catches the apple with his teeth is the one who eats it.

    Meanwhile the girls make a sweet cake and put a ring into it. The person who gets the ring is the person who will get married the first. Everybody enjoys himself on that night.
    May day.
    May day is often called "Contrary day" as the old people say it is not right to borrow milk or anything else on that day. It is also said that it is not right to bring out a coal of fire on May day.
    The people also believe that if a person goes to a neighbouring field on May morning and milks

  18. People don't give anything away on New Year's Day.

    If a person breaks anything on New Year's Day it is said that he will be breaking something for the whole year.
    Some people do not put ashes out on New Year's Day because it is said that is is not lucky.
    May Day
    People do not put out ashes on May Day, because it is not lucky. People do not milk their cows on May Day.
    Novembers Day
    Anyone does not pick black berries after November's Day.
    May Day
    May morning a woman went to a

  19. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Brigid Killeen
    Age
    13
    Informant
    Patrick Conroy
    Age
    45

    churning is made because the churn-dash is clear. Water is poured in while churning to break it fast. When the churning is done then the butter is taken out and the buttermilk is given to pigs and also is used for making bread. There are a lot of stories connected with churning such as if any one came in during churning they take it because it is said that the would bring the butter if they did-not take it. Also people put a coal under it and put a grain of salt in it. for fear the faries would bring the butter it is said that it is right to make a churning May Day. People would not give away milk, or butter, on May Day because if they did they would get no butter on the milk until