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Transcripts count: 130
  1. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nancy Davis
    Informant
    Peter Davis
    Age
    54

    it is said that May day brings Summer. If May day is a wet day the following year will be wet but if it is a dry day the year will be dry.
    If you wash your face in the May morning dew. your face will be the same in another year. On May day a bunch of May Flowers is placed in the thatch or sometimes they are tied to the slates. The children have great fun celebrating May Day.

  2. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English

    The people of my district say that the luckiest day to start to plough is on a Friday. They say that you should not turn up the clay on May Day. A person should not throw out ashes or dirt on May Day. If a person met a red haired woman or girl on the road on that day they should turn and go home again. Also nobody should give away milk on May Day.

  3. Halloween Night

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Seán Mágh Oireachtaigh

    Long ago the Irish people celebrated two great days one the first of May and the other Hallow eve night. On May day the people put flowers on the threshold because the people of ancient Ireland believed in fairies and were afraid of them. On May day the people would not give away a drop of milk because they used to think they would be giving away the butter. If anyone came in to on May day they would take the churn and say "God bless the cows and the butter" I am not concerned any longer about May day. I am telling you the fun boy's have on Hallow Eve Night. For many days children are collecting nuts and apples and sweets.
    When Hallow Eve night comes a lot of boys and girls get to-gether in some house to have great fun. They hang an apple out of the ceiling and the children try to catch it in their mouths with their hands behind their backs. Then they get basin of water and put a shilling or a sixpence and try to catch it in their mouths and it below in the bottom of the water. Then the children eat nuts and sweets and monkey nuts which have to be bought because they do not

  4. Local Superstitions

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Pat Slein

    Food cooked before May Day and left over to May Day should not be used. The fairies have left lumps of clay instead of the real food. [-]
    If the face is washed with the dew of the grass before sunrise on May morning the skin will remain white and clear [-]
    No coal should be let out of the fire (given away) on May Day. [-]

  5. May Eve Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Peggy Gallagher

    There are any amount of customs observed on May Eve and on May Day. One for May Eve is to scatter primroses and May flowers on the streets and about the house. One custom which the children delight in is the crowning Queen of May the prettiest school girl in every school. This girl is taken out on May Day and set up on a high arm-chair, the other children then gather around her and dress her up with flowers. They then make a crown of flowers and place it on her head when this is done they all catch hands and dance around her singing the little song known as "Nuts and May."
    Some people do not like to give away milk on May Day lest they would give away their luck or the butter. It is said that if you wash your face in the dew before sunrise on May morning it will prevent you from getting tanned during the Summer.
    Tuathal king of Ireland in the first century instituted the

  6. Omans

    Language
    English

    Nobody yokes a horse on May day to work with him because it is unlucky to stir the clay on May Day.
    (Portrun)

    On May day the people used to get a stick and tie a bunch of primrosis on it and stick it up in the thatch.
    (Clooncagh)

  7. May Day Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nan Rutledge
    Informant
    Mrs Mc Loughlin

    In olden times many customs were practised on May-day, most of these are gone now-a-days, but some are yet continued and practised. The evening previous to May-day some member of each household goes out into the fields and gathers a hugh quantity of May-flowers. In the towns some poor children go about selling flowers for a little money. On that night, they are scattered on the door-steps and on the window-sills, to welcome the first day of Summer. As the month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, an altar is prepared in every Catholic home. It is decorated with flowers, and a small lighted lamp is placed before her statue.
    Long ago it was customary not to put out the ashes, or sweep the floor on May-day. The old people never gave away milk, as they believed they would have no butter on the next churning. Many girls went out into a field at break of day and washed their faces in the dew, under a hawthorn tree. It was said that such people did not get sun-burned during the following Summer. Other customs practised were, the placing of a branch of the mountain-ash in a manure heap in order to protect the cows, and the placing of a "griosach" under a churn so that the

  8. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael John Connolly

    Long ago there were various superstitions as regards Churning The women of ancient times never neglected to put a spark of fire under the churn for fear the fairies would bring the butter, and they would not let a spark of fire out of the house until the cream would be churned For instance if a man came in to light his pipe he would not be let go out until he did his share of the churning. The old folk were also of the opinion that if a strange hand was allowed to milk the cow on May Day and suppose the stranger milked the first can in the name of the Devil there would be no more milk for the Family it would be all secretly taken away by the fairies. There were three things that were never given away on May Day, Fire, Salt or milk because to give away any of these would mean bad luck for that year. It was also the custom when churning to put a pinch of [struck out: "cloth"] salt into the churn before the commenced to churn. All these superstitions are no longer

  9. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    water or to be out late at night on Whit Sunday or Monday as an accident is sure to happen. It is also very unlucky to go near water on May Eve and May Day, or to be out late at night. It is said that if anyone picks any flowers on May Eve that the fairies will steal the person away, and if anyone goes near water there are supposed to be fairies in the water and they will pull them down in the lake. On May Day the young people have a merry pastime picking daisies and making daisy chains. They dress one of their companions in daisies and they march round with "may queen" leading them. On the Feast of the Assumption a great many people visit the shrine of the Blessed Virgin at Knock, others go on a pilgrimage to Lourdes and others go to Lock Derg, a little island in the midst of a big lake in Co. Donegal. On St. Martins Day a bird is

  10. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Informant
    M. J. Cunningham

    Whit Sunday and Whit Monday.
    Whit week is the second week of June. People never go out on water on Whit Sunday or Whit Monday. It is said that if a child is born on Whit Monday he or she will meet its death in an accident.
    May Day. May day is the first day of May. It is an old custom not to give away milk on May day or plough day.
    Saint John's Day Saint John's Day is celebrated on the 24th of June. There is always a Pattern held on that day in this district and people do stations round Saint John's well which is in this district.
    Generally known by all people here

  11. A Charm

    Language
    English

    I heard people say that too if you got up on a May Day morning and washed your hands three times in the name of the Father Son and Holy Ghost that you'd be able to unfasten any knot that you'd meet.
    I heard an old woman boast once that she owed her skill in undoing the knots in the wool to this cure as she told me that she never missed a May Day

  12. (no title)

    Once there lived a woman in Carrowkeel named Biddy Elwood in the parish of Creeve in the Co Roscommon who had a lot of butter...

    Language
    English
    Collector
    James Gormley
    Informant
    James Gormley
    Age
    82

    her to throw it into the churn the next time that she would be churning. She did as she was bid and after that she had plenty of butter.

    People will not give away milk on May day because they are afraid that the cows will go dry and give them no more milk for the year.
    People will not clean out the cowhouse on May day because they are afraid that they would throw away the luck of the cows for the year.

  13. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Tom Gallagher
    Informant
    Mrs Gallagher
    Age
    50

    watches from twelve o'clock to three o'clock on Good Friday.
    Little Christmas. This day falls on the 6th of January. It is also called the Twelfth Night and on that night twelve rush candles are lighted and all the family gather round them and say the Rosary to finish the Christmas.
    May Day.
    On May Day people get bunches of May flowers and scatter them round the front door.

  14. Belief about Fairies

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Micheál Mac Gearailt

    People of long ago had great belief in fairies. The old people did not like to offend the fairies because they thought it might bring bad luck on them. I have often heard of old fairy tales. It is said that the fairies lived under the ground in old fort's called "Shees" They played lovely music. Some people coming home from fairs or markets or even from rambling were enchanted by the music and sat down to it. Before long they were asleep and dreaming about the dancing and music that the fairies were playing. In the morning when they awoke they would think that they were hours down under the ground with the fairies. It is said that if you carried a horse shoe in your pocket you would not be enchanted by the music. There is a lot of old customs of May day connected with the fairies. If you went into another house on May day you would not get a coal to put on you pipe for fear the fairies would bring out the fire for the rest of the year. There is a fort up hills called (Lith [?]) "Lish-na-leana." Its name tells us that it is the fort of wee folk. Many people,

  15. Belief about Fairies

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Micheál Mac Gearailt

    it is said, have seen the wee folk there. There is a lot of history connected with this fort. It is also said that on May day the people would gather flowers and strew them them before the windows and the doors to keep away the wee folk. If a person went into another house on May day and they were churning they would put a dead coal under the churn and would make you take the handle and give it a few turns and then you would not bring the butter with you.
    The fairies wore green jacket and a red cap with a white owl's in it. When the fairies came to a house for annything it was the man of the house that would give it to them. It is said that they did all their singing and dancing at night. On the first of May they do a lot of singing. A person would not cut a bush on a fort for fear the fairies might kill him. The leprechauns were fairy cobblers who amde made shoes for the fairies.

  16. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen Flynn
    Informant
    James Flynn
    Age
    46

    Friday most people cut their hair because they don't cut it during the lent and they keep the eggs that are layed on Good Friday for Easter Sunday.
    On Easter Sunday the people eat a lot of eggs. On May eve the children gather a lot of primroses and daisies and tie them to a pole and then they stick it in the ground for May day. The people don't like to lend anything on May Day and they don't throw out any water in case they might be throwing away the luck. On Saint Martin's Day there are mill wheels twisted.

  17. Old Customs of Long Ago

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Margaret Quinn
    Age
    13
    Informant
    Patrick Quinn
    Age
    55

    22. Old Customs of Long Ago.
    An old custom in parts of Ireland was for people to get the branches of rowan-trees and hang them over the doors of stables and dwelling houses on May day. Another old custom also for people who are selling milk was to have a small little branch of the rowan tree tied on the handle of the large can which holds the milk.

    Another old custom was that people did not throw out any ashes on May Day. If they did they were supposed to have no luck for the year.

  18. Around my locality the people have many superstitious customs regarding May Eve and May Day. The month of May is devoted to our Blessed Lady, and consequently it is customary for all country children to collect Primroses or "May Flowers" as they are usually called, and place them on the