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Transcripts count: 46
  1. Old Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Mc Mahon
    Age
    14
    Informant
    Mrs Mary Murdock
    Age
    78

    May Day
    On the evening before May Day the wells were cleaned out. The man of the house would remain up till 12 o'clock. He would then go to the well for a can of water. Before returning he would drop a red hot coal into the well. This was to bring good luck.
    On this evening some people would tie a piece of roantree and horse manure by means of a red string to the cow's tail. These are left on the cows' tails until the following year when fresh ones are tied on. This is also for luck. It is said to be unlucky to give anyone milk on May-day. Many people on this day would not give a neighbour milk for it takes away good luck.
    May-flowers are gathered and thrown around the door of the dwelling house on May Eve.
    Sometimes people who have become poor try to get back their good luck in the following way. On May Day they go to some neighbour's house and borrow a churn saying that their own is broken.

  2. Festivals

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Packie Mc Carvill
    Informant
    Peter Deighan
    Age
    72
    Occupation
    farmer

    shamrocks some of them keep them to that night and then drown them in water for them to have good luck until that time next year.
    On May Day the people scatter May flowers at the door for to have good luck. On May Day people also hang a horse shoe up over the door for good luck

  3. Festivals

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen Rocks
    Age
    10
    Informant
    Mrs Mc Phillips
    Age
    73

    On midsummer night the people light fires in the fields. The way they light them is: they get sticks and hay and put a match to the hay. Then they stay there to it goes out and then they go home.
    Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. The people make pancakes that night. On May Day they put rags on the ditches and they say if you done that you would not get a cold to the next May Day.

  4. May Day

    Language
    English

    May Day used to be a day of great enjoyment in Ireland. The fun was started the evening before. They had a May Bush, which was a small shrub decorated with May flowers and lighted candles around which they danced. Some would have a May Queen or an effigy dressed up to represent a queen. They would set it beside the May Bush. There would be a dance at the May Bush until late at night.

    May Day is looked on the most important day in the year for practising charms and all kinds of witchcraft. This is the day for taking the butter from other people's cows - or for guarding against the spells of witchcraft. If there is a well used in common by a number of families the person who wishes to have the best luck for the ensuing year must be sure to be first at the well after Midnight and put May flowers into the water. Otherwise someone else will be there first and take all your luck for

  5. Lore of Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Brigid Corrigan
    Age
    13
    Informant
    Annie Corrigan
    Age
    45

    Whoever is at a spring well first in the morning will have good luck for the whole year. Some people would not give away anything out of their houses on May Day. They say it is not right; that they would be giving away their good luck.

  6. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    There are many feast days namely St. Patrick's day. St. Johns day, May Day, Easter Sunday, Shrove Tuesday, Christmas and Halloweve.
    On St. Patrick's day the shamrock is worn and on that night it is "drowned" by men getting drunk.
    On St John's day there is nothing done during the day but that night there is a great bon-fire. There is music and all the people dance round the fire and have great fun.
    On the eve of May Day mayflowers are gathered and thrown at every door and window. When you are throwing the mayflowers you say "To Keep away witches and "warkes" and all the nebbed things that crawl on the grass.
    No one likes a child to be born on Whit Sunday

  7. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Louie Mc Murray
    Age
    13
    Informant
    Mrs R. Mc Murray
    Age
    35

    and boil eggs on them.
    On May Day Roman Catholics spread may-flowers on the threshholds of their doors to bring good luck. It is a custom not to sweep out the dust of the house on May Day because you are sweeping out your good luck.
    At mid-night on Hallow Eve it is a custom for young girls to go down to a well, look into the well and they will see their futher husbands looking over their right shoulders.
    At Hallow Eve rings are usually put into the barmbracks and it is said who ever gets the ring will soon be married.
    At Hallow Eve the roasting of the nuts gives much merriment. Two nuts are placed on a shovel over the open fire or on the bars of the grate. The nuts are eagerly watched as they mover about in the heat. If one hops it means "nothing doing" but if the two hop away together it means a certain "match".
    In certain parts of the country Hallow Eve was at one time used as an excuse for pranks that could not always be termed harmless and even to-day gates have been stolen and not found for years.

  8. Local Sayings about Animals

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael Mc Shane
    Informant
    (name not given)

    it is the sign of good luck. If you see a grey cat it is the sign of bad luck. If you kill a hairy Mary it is a sin. If a frog comes into the house it is the sign of good weather. If a foal is born on May day it will die.

    Supplied by Michael McShane, Lisglasson, Castleshane who heard them from her father.

  9. Festivals

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Murphy
    Age
    13
    Informant
    John Murphy
    Age
    54
    Occupation
    farmer

    On St. Patrick's Day every man drinks some whiskey to have it to say that they drowned their shamrocks.
    Every May Eve everybody gathers May flowers and put them at every door. On May Day morning everyone ties to go to

  10. The Care of the Feet

    Language
    English

    In olden times the poeple would be full grown when they would start to wear boots. It was the costum that when May-day would come all the children would go barefoot in the Summer.
    The shoes are only repaired in this locality. There are two shoemakers in this district. This was a tradition in the families, perhaps from their grandfather. There are people in this district who always fix their own boots.

  11. Superstitions

    Language
    English

    1. Two people washing their hands in the same water spit in the water so that they will not quarrel.
    2. When a turf or a coal falls from the fire someone is about to come in.
    3. It is considered unlucky to let a stranger light his pipe from a burning turf, or to allow a lighten coal to be taken out of the house on May-day.
    4. Any one who gives away milk on May-day, the churning will go against them, and the butter will be scarc the whole year.
    5. To meet a flat-footer person is lucky but to meet a red haired woman unlucky.
    6. Giving money away on New Year's day is considered giving one's luck away.
    7. Foxglove is called fairy-thimbles. If a person put one of the blossoms on his finger, he would die before a year.
    8. Some superstitions people in this district put a ring or a sovereign or something with gold in it into the can before milking a cow that has freshly calved. They consider it lucky.

  12. Emblems and Objects of Value

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Winnie Powell
    Informant
    Mrs F. Powell
    Age
    38

    In this district holly is placed on the mantlepiece and in the window for Christmas. On May Day mayflowers are scattered on the door step to keep away evil spirits. Pieces of bowood and laurel leaves are carried on palm Sunday.
    These are never hung in the out houses.

  13. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    John Kennedy

    went around the houses kicking the doors and taking off gates and hiding them. When men called "Straw Men" heard of a wedding they went to the house in which the wedding was, wearing straw hats with blackened faces and wearing women's clothes. When they went to the house in which the wedding was they asked for drink and money and danced with the bride. People would not give away anything on New Years day because they believe if they did so they would not have any luck through the whole year. On "May Day" people would not give away salt because they believe it would be unlucky to do so.

  14. Superstitions

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Phil O' Neill
    Informant
    Willie Whelan
    Informant
    Tom Mc Mahon

    Water should not be thrown out on May Day.
    Set at least one potato on Good Friday.
    Never enter a house carrying a weapon nor you will grow no bigger.
    Never go into a house where there is a churning without taking a brash.
    Do not put out the ashes on May Day.
    It is unlucky to look through a window at a funeral.
    It is unlucky to put out the ashes, or go to the well or sweep out the floor after sunset. In the case of the sweeping people would be supposed to sweep out their luck.
    Nobody liked to be first to put up a smoke on May morning because early - risers were supposed to take the luck off other peoples' cows.
    At the dead hour of night, no dog barks.
    A child should not be left alone in a house except a tongs is placed across the cradle to prevent the fairies from stealing it away.
    It is unlucky to get in the way of a whirl blast because being a fairy - blast it might blow you away.
    It is unlucky to come into a house carrying a churn - staff on your shoulder.
    If a cow is bewitched the cure is to get some old piece of the clothes of the person who bewitched her - any old torn rag will do - & burn it under her nose.

  15. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patsy Finnegan

    to keep the milk warm.
    The usual way that the people know the churning is done, is when the dash is clean. When the churning is done it is shook to gather the butter.
    On May day the people hang horse-shoes on the churn for luck. There are different parts on the churn namely, the churn, the lid and the dash. When people come into the house while churning they usually take a brash. If not they say there would be no butter on the churn.

  16. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eamonn Lennon

    The Lore of Certain Days

    It is a common belief in this district that Friday is a lucky day on which to start any important occupation, house-building, flilting, mowing, ploughing, etc. Old women count it most unlucky to set a hatching hen on any day except Friday. Farmers like to boast that they began setting their early plot of potatoes on Good Friday.
    In this locality it is considered unlucky to sell milk or eggs on May Day. The first few days of April are usually very wild and people around say that April borrows three days of March to skin the old cow. The crow beings building her nest

  17. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patsy Meehan

    men drink whiskey and they call this "drowning the shamrock." People wear shamrocks on that day. On St. Stephen's Day the people hunt the wren. On Ash Wednesday the people go to the chapel to get blessed ashes on their foreheads.
    On Shrove Tuesday the people eat pancakes to their tea. On St. John's Day, the 24th June, the people light bon-fires. On the night before May Day the people put May-flowers on the door-step. People do not like to give away anything on New year's Day.
    Everyone likes to eat as many eggs as possible on Easter Sunday. The people wear palm on Palm Sunday. People do not like to go near deep water on Whit Sunday.

  18. Local Sayings about Animals

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael Mc Shane
    Informant
    (name not given)

    Local Sayings about Animals
    If you see a cat with her back to the fire it is the sign of storm. If you see a cat scraping at the table it is the sign of wind. If you hear an ass roaring it is the sign of rain. If you see a dog eating grass it is the sign of rain. If you kill a cricket the rest of the cricket would eat your clothes and stockings. If a calf is born on may day it will die. If you kill a spider it will rain the next day. If a weasel runs out in front of you it is the sign of bad luck. If a black cat runs out in front of you

  19. Lucky Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary B. Mc Ginnity

    Wednesday is a lucky day for people to get married on. It is also a lucky day to flit. People also flit on Friday but not on Saturday or in Lent. People do not start business on a Saturday.
    Christmas day is a lucky day for a child to be born. Whit week is an unlucky week for a child to be born. It is supposed not to be lucky to sleep outside on Whit Sunday. People are not supposed to lend money on New Year's day.
    The borrowing days are the three first days of April which March borrowing from April to kill the old cow. People like to have money in their pockets on those days, also some food as it is not lucky to be fasting. People do not raise a smoke early on May day.