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Transcripts count: 76
  1. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    Baal was the God of the Fairies.
    Long ago the old people used to guard their children very carefully on May-Day because the fairies would have power to steal pretty children.
    People would not give away milk, butter, salt, fire or water on May Day for fear they would give away their luck for the year.
    The ashes would not be thrown out, people would not churn, no loans would be given, even a traveller wouldn't get a drink on May Day.
    If the fire went out on May Day it was an unlucky sign, and must be lighted with a red sod of turf from the priest's house.
    Sprigs of mountain ash were tied round the churn, primroses and buttercups were scattered round the doors on May Eve, bunches of primroses were tied to the cow's tail - all for the purpose of keeping away the fairies, who were supposed to steal the milk and butter.
    A May-Pole or May bush was put

  2. May Day

    Language
    English

    We have May Day the first of May. The day before it is called May Eve. People put up May bushes May Eve. May is in honour of the Blessed Virgin. In olden times no one used to borrow anything from another May Day it was considered unlucky. In olden times it was a custom to borrow a churn from another. When they would get back the churn and when they would go to churn the next day they could get no butter for about four churnings

  3. May Day

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Thomas Lonergan

    May Day. On May Eve they sprinkle the four corners ofthe fields with Easter water to prevent anyone makng piseogs.

  4. Magic Stream in Cave

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Patrick Williams
    Age
    50

    Near the Mitchelstown caves in Coolagarranroe is another cave called the Grey Sheeps Cave. Very many generations ago an old Irish poet went into the cave. He crossed a magic stream which is in the cave and he was turned into a grey sheep. Years after a shepherd went into the cave and crossed the stream and never came out. This happened on May day. He happened to have a flute with him and he could not come out he began playing a lament on the flute hoping someone might hear him and come to his help. The people heard him but would not cross the stream to him. Often on May day since the lamentation of the lost boy and the music of his flute can be heard in the cave underground. This Grey Sheep is also called the Desmond Cave because here the Fitzgerald known as the Sugán Earl was captured and betrayed by his kinsman the White Knight of Kilbeheny in the year, I think, 1602.

  5. May Eve and May Eve Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Breda Lewis
    Age
    12
    Informant
    Mrs W. Lewis
    Age
    45

    May Eve and May day Customs.
    There are many old customs for May Eve and May day still going on in my native district.
    On May Eve some people put charms on others and they put up a May- bush to bring God's blessings on them and to keep away charms. They also sprinkle easter water on the crops and animals.

  6. May Day

    Language
    English

    after. Some people put Holy Water on the cows May Eve. They say that people come at night and take the milk from the cows. It is an old remark too if you got up early on a May morning and washed your face with the dew on the grass you would not get sunburnt.
    May is the first of Summer. The first of May people had old customs and some people used to believe in them. It was said that people come and take the butter from the cows and that the cows would have no milk for the rest of the year. People put Holy Water on their cows and their crops on May Eve. Some people say that the fairies are out that day. People put up a May bush May Day because is was an old custom. Some people put it up on the roof of the house over the door. They leave it there for the month of May. In some places people elect a May Queen on May Day. They get a girl out of a

  7. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nancy Neill
    Informant
    Mrs Neill
    Occupation
    domestic worker

    If anybody came into the house while the churning would be going on she would give it a turn as it is said if she left the house without helping at the work "she would take the butter". People always churn before May day as it is said the fairies make the butter white instead of its natural yellow colour. Buttermilk is used for making bread and some people drink it as the cows eat herbs.

  8. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    make an appearance among their milk was rarely given away on May Day without first putting a pinch of salt into the vessel.

    If a person called to a farmers house for the purpose of lighting his pipe he was allowed to do so but was made sit down and have his smoke. It would be serious if he were allowed to leave a house on May Day smoking a pipe which he had reddened there.

    ST STEPHEN'S DAY
    While many years ago the custom of "Hunting the Wren" appears to have been favoured and well supported in this district of late it has degenerated into a mere money making game on the part of small boys (and sometimes girls)
    On last St Stephens day I saw

  9. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Edward Meagher

    One of these customs to welcom the feast is by putting up a May bough dressed with flowers over the doors of the houses.
    Superstitious people believed that the butter could be taken on May Day. It was customary for the people to watch their pumps and wells as they were afraid that the bad neighbours would come and take some of the water. It was believed that taking some of the was part of the witchcraft used in taking the butter, you would not get milk in a neighbours house on May day. This is supposed to be another practice used in taking the butter. Taking the butter meant that when they went to churn their cream they could not get any butter off it, and then they blamed on somebody else for taking it.
    In like manner it believed that the crops could be taken, it is said that these could be taken by burying eggs and onions in the four corners of the field.
    Besides these customs there also religious customs, one of these is spreading Easter Water in the fields and on the cattle.

  10. Superstitions - Pishogues

    Language
    English

    Many superstitions are still current locally. Long ago May eve was the great day for these practices. They are not carried on nowadays. Wells were "skimmed" on May morning. This was supposed to bring the good luck of the well users to the skimmer and wells were guarded on that night. On May eve also eggs were put in the clay in the four corners of the gardens. This brought the "produce" of the garden to the person who planted the eggs. A ball of hay or dried grass was flung into the meadows and this brought a good crop to the thrower and left a very poor one to the owner of the meadow. Milk was "taken" from the cows by leaving something in the byre or at the milking place. The person who did this got an increased supply by milking a sugan or a spancel tied to the rafters. People were also supposed fo take the "luck" of a place by leaving something in the house on May day, usually a bit of a bramble placed unobtrusively at the hearth.
    It is unlucky to lend anything on May day. It is unlucky to move into a new house on any day except on Friday. It is unlucky to take a cat with you from your former house. You should never sweep out the ashes on a Monday. The first Monday in the new year is hansel Monday. It is lucky to receive money on that day but if you pay out money on that day you will be paying out for the rest of the year. When you build a new dwelling house put silver usually a two shilling piece at the four corners for luck. They are put in the foundation. You should not knock your old house but allow it to fall. If you build

  11. Local Customs

    On Shrove Tuesday the people of this district gets married mostly...

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Daniel Quinlan
    Informant
    Mr Quinlan

    On Shrove Tuesday the people of this district gets married mostly.
    The people in every house in this district make pancakes on that day and puts a ring in the dough of one of them before baking and whoever gets the ring would be said to be married before the Shrove Tuesday of the following year.
    On May-day the people of each house makes a May-bush with flowers and blossomed blackthorn and then sticks it in the thatch over the door.
    People would not give away anything on May Day for they say they would be giving away their luck.
    On Bonefire Night a bonefire is lighted in this district. What is burnt is a couple of blocks of deal and a load of turf and then a bottle of paraffin oil is sprinkled on it

  12. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Harry Cummins
    Informant
    Mrs Mary Ryan
    Age
    78

    The festival custom's every year in my district are on St Stephen's Day, all the boys in my district go following the wren on St Martin's Day people kill a chicken and spill the blood at the back of the door, or in the corner. On Shrove Tuesday night people make pancake's on Halween night people put a napple into a big tub of water and then try to catch it with your mouth, and on chalk Sunday rubbing chalk to bachelors back's. And on May Day stealing

  13. Emblems and Objects of Value

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Edward Stapleton
    Informant
    John Stapleton
    Age
    54

    There is a cross worn on the arm in honour of St Patrick and then after it is hung up in the house. There is cross worn in honour of saint Brigid. It is about three inches long and two inches wide, For the twelve days of Christmas holly is hung up the house, On May day a nice tree sowed,

  14. Story

    Language
    English

    Many years ago there lived in the district of Coolagh not far from Callan a famous hurler by the name of Sean O'Cuadhaille. Another great hurler from the Co. Waterford challenged him to a game of hurling at Piltown on May day. Sean went down to Piltown a while before the match

  15. On St Stephen's day it was the custom with some people to bleed horses for the good of their health. On May day people make an Altar and decorate it with whitethorn. The rosary is said in front of this altar for the month of May. People usually shake Easter water on the bounds ditch to keep away "pushóg" women.

  16. Monán Muire

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Michael O' Donnell

    Monán Muire is a weed that grows about 1 foot high, a white blossom comes on it. Sometimes it is a shade of pink or yellow. The old people used to pull it on May Day and keep it all through the year. It is a cure for some disease on animals.

  17. Sean-Bhealtaine

    Language
    English

    Sean Bealtaine. Old May Day was the 12th May was the hiring day for servants both men and women. On that day servants and Masters congregated together and settled for the year. This custom is now done away with.

  18. May Eve Customs and Pishogues

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Bridget Fitzgerald
    Age
    45

    pipe or to borrow a sup of milk. All Pishogues were made on May Day. Most were to take milk orr butter from your neighbour, but the crops were also bad through Pishogues. By leaving eggs in the garden of your neighbour you'd take away the potatoes or by leaving meat in the garden.