On St Stephen's day many boys assemble and get false faces and dress themselves up and go around from house to house singing "The wren the wren the king of all birds." When they sing they get money from the householder. On St Brigid's eve people put holy breads and prayer books out on the windows of the houses so that St Brigid would bless them. On St Patrick's day people wear Shamrock and badges Day over watch year on the seventeenth of March. Shrove Tuesday is the last day for marriages on the sixth of January and ends on the day before Ash Wednesday. On Holy Thursday night our Lord ate his last supper on Good Friday he dies and he was buried and he was three days in the grave. On Easter Sunday he arose from the dead. The night before May day people bless the cows and horses. On May day boys and girls go out very early bare footed and bathe their faces with the dew of the grasses. On St John's day bonfires are lit through the country.
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The two days that had the most celebrations in this locality were the patron day and May day. The patron day is still kept as a holiday but all the old customs in connection with it have died out. Patron day is held in Kill on the 16th of July in honour of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to whom the church is dedicated. Long ago there used to be seven priests hearing confessions on the eve of the patron day. Mass used to be celebrated by the parish priest. Almost everyone in the parish used to receive Holy Communion that morning.After mass there used to be a procession to the blessed well. They used to sing hymn's going down. The parish-priest used to head the procession. When they reached the well they said the rosary while walking round the well. When they had the rosary said they returned to the church singing hymns. They stayed in Kill drinking for the rest of the day. People used to come from all over the county to sell oranges, apples, sweets, biscuits and lemonade.
Old May day was a day much looked forward to long ago by the working people of this locality but it is forgotten now. The working people used to be hired on that day by the farmers for a year. The year's work used be finished at
May day and the boys and girls used then take a week's holiday. It was the greatest event of the year to them and they used to spare up during that week. They all used to arrange to come to Kill and to go to a certain public house here and which was usually where Baldwin's public house now is. They would then sing and dance and drink for the day. They would come again next day but their sport would be over for another year because the farmers would be there to hire them for another year.
7 Mí na Nodlag 1938
On May Day all the housekeepers used to arise at sunrise to take the first pail of water from the well so that anybody would not take their butter that year.
If a man went to the fire for a spark to light his pipe and a churn making in the house, they would not leave him out of the house with the spark on his pipe for fear he would take their butter.
Long ago the farmers used to make a hoop from the sally tree and twist it on the cows' horns to keep away sickness from the cows and also, so that they might have a lot of milk.
It was the custom with some people in my district when making a churn to stick some pieces of butter to the dairy wall. These pieces of butter were for the fairies.
Some people would not give anything to a stranger on May Day for fear they might give away
for Monday. Most people would like to have all their early potatoes planted before St. Patrick's day. People say it is very unlucky for a man to leave his house and go into a new home on a Monday.
The people in this district think it is very unlucky to throw out ashes on Monday.
The people would never sweep out the house on Monday for fear of sweeping out the luck. They think that it is in the dirt the luck is.
People would never put a goose hatching the first year she would lay her eggs. They think it is the most unlucky thing they could do.
More people think it is very unlucky to wash clothes on Saturday.
May Day is a very unlucky day for doing anything. Some people do not even kindle the fire. It is a great day for old women to be gathering herbs.
When people are removing cattle
unlucky day. They say it would grow again.
The last three days of March are usually bad every year. They are called sion riabhac. The people do not leave out the cows these days for fear they would get bogged.
Oats should be planted before the fifteenth day of April. If they would not have it planted before that day it would not grow. Every one tries to have it planted before the cuckoo comes.
Sunday and Monday are said to be unlucky days for setting eggs.
May Day is a very unlucky day for doing anything. Some people do not handle the fire. Pishogues are made that day. On the same day the old women go gathering herbs.
People say that Tuesday is a very unlucky day for sowing crops.
It is said that it is very unlucky to commence ploughing on a Monday. Some people begin ploughing on a Saturday so that they would have the work opened
Old CustomsSpring wells were guarded and nobody was allowed to take water from any well on a farm, within certain hours.
All crops and stocks were springled with "Easter Water" from a palm branch.
Lumps of butter made in a large bottle on May Eve were used as a cure for certain ailments in animals.
All fires were put out at six o'clock on May Eve, and were not lighted until six o'clock May Day.
All children of tender years were kept indoors on that night. Every farmer had Holy Mass celebrated in the house, during this month.
It was forbidden to beat cattle with sticks from alder trees or mountain ash. A mountain ash plant was twisted in a round form called gao and coiled round churns to increase the quantity of butter in the churn, and to preserve it from evil.
On St. John's Eve, farmers had bonfires lighted in an open on those farms, and
1. Duck under a donkey's stomach twice and it is said that any ailment would be cured.
2. Juice of onions put on warts would soon rid you of them.
3. A roasted cabbage leaf with fresh butter on it would if applied to soon cure you of mumps.
4. Nettles boiled and drank on May Day would purify the blood.
5. Burnt salt applied to a sore throat would cure it.
6. Boiled dandline if eaten would cure a cough.
7. Potatoes roasted by the fire and eaten with butter would cure a cough.
8. Cotton wool dipped in Holy Oil and put in the ear would cure it.
9. Goose grease put on the mumps would heal it.
10. Mushrooms boiled in milk and eaten would cure a cold.
11. In order to cure the whooping cough long ago people would ask the driver of a white horse for a cure and they would do as he told them.
12. To cure a cold drink milk in which onions are boiled.
13. Goat's milk warmed and drank with butter would cure a cold.
14. A yellow-meal poultice is a good cure for boils.
15. A herb plucked on May Day and drank with Easter Water would heal any ailment.
16. Onions eaten raw would purify the blood
17. A blessed candle dipped under a sore eye nine times would cure it.
These are some of the local customs on certain days.
On St Stephen's Day some boys go round with a bit of holly decorated with ribbons. If they caught a wren they tied her on to this. Every house they go to they sing:-
"The wren the wran the king of all birds,
St. Stephen's Day she was caught in the furze,
Although she is little her honour is great,
Put your hand in your pocket and give us a treat,
Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
Give us our answer and let us be gone,
In every house they get money.
On St. Brigid's eve a white band is put out for St. Brigid to bless it. When blessed it would cure a headache.
St. Patrick's Day a cross is put on your left arm with a burnt stick out of the fire.
Shamrock is also worn on that day.
On Shrove Tuesday pancakes are made.
On the eve of May Day Easter water is sprinkled on all the crops and cattle to save them form charms.
On the 1st of April All Fools Day people try to fool others by telling them something happened