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Transcripts count: 26
  1. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Thomas Scally
    Age
    12
    Informant
    Joseph Scally
    Age
    53

    On the evening before May day a bush is cut and it is decorated with flowers, rags and sometimes egg shells. The flowers are generally white and blue in colour and are mostly wild. The bush is called a May bush. The May Bush is in honour of the Blessed Virgin. Some take it down after May day and some leave it up for the month.

  2. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English

    Saturday is an unlucky day to start a job. Saturdays beginnings never ends. There are no certain days for sowing crops. The days of the old cow are called the "three borrowed days." April borrows three days from March. the first one to skin the old cow, second to wake her, and third to bury her. Nobody gives away milk on Mat Day because they would give away their luck. If you churn on May day you will have butter all the year. You should churn on May-day no matter if you only had a quart of cream.

  3. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English

    On May Day the farmer gets a bottle of holy water and goes through is farm sprinkling some on each field.

  4. Churning

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maureen Nolan
    Age
    14

    the butter. It is taken off with a wooden scoop or a trencher. Then it is put in the butter tub and washed until it is free from milk. Then it is salted and washed again and then clapped and made into rolls. It is then ready for use or for sale.
    The buttermilk is given to pigs or calves or for making bread. It is very wholesome to drink.
    It is said that if you churn on May day you will have butter all the year round.
    (1938- aged 14.) Maureen Nolan. (Garr.)

    In Groomes of Knockdrin on May-day the plough-chains were bound round the milk churn while the churning was being done.
    (John Groome)
    No milk would be given out of a house on May-day

  5. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Brian Donnelly
    Informant
    Brian Donnelly

    In most districts many feasts are observed in a special manner as they occur. When St Stephen's Day occurs some of the boys of this district dress up in coloured clothes and go around house to house singing and dancing. The people of the house usually give them a shilling or a sixpence Sometimes the small boys get a wren and put her in a box. They put the box on a branch of holly and carry it about They usually have a song they sing

    The Wren the Wren the King of all birds
    On St Stephens Day she was caught in the firs
    Although she was small her family was great
    rise up landlady and give us a treat
    Up with the kettle and down with the pan
    Give us some money to bury the wren
    There are many other feasts throughout the year, as Christmas Day, Easter, Whit, Halloween, Michaelmas and May-Day. On May-Day the children gather a lot of flowers and put them on a branch of Mountain Ash On the morning of May-Day they put the branch standing by the side of the road so that the people passing by might see it. On Michaelmas

  6. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael Fenlon
    Informant
    Patrick Flanagan
    Age
    40

    There is a custom around this place that on May Day people put up a May bush which is generally made of a black thorn branch.
    They put this branch standing on the ground outside their door.
    They gather flowers principally cowslips and tie them in little bunches and decorate the bush with them. The shells of the eggs that the hens lay on Good Friday and that are eaten on Easter Sunday are kept and put on the May bush.
    The May bush must be put down before the Sun sets on the eve of May day.
    There is a fair in Bally-

  7. May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kevin Buckley
    Informant
    Michael Buckley
    Age
    51

    The children are al delighted when May day is approaching. A day or two previous the children go out looking for a nice bush and the wild flowers that grow in the fields, mostly the cow slips. They also collect the egg shells from Easter Sunday and place them on the May bush. They tie the flowers on the bush with thread and put it in the garden

  8. Emblems and Objects of Value

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Bridget Guinan
    Informant
    John Guinan
    Age
    62

    left on the mantel shelves. The holly is not taken down until after little Christmas (the 6th of January). On May eve a branch of the May bush is plucked with the blossoms in it. Two pieces are tied together in the form of a cross and all the wild flowers that are in bloom are woven in and out through them. It is called the May bush and it is hung over the outside door on May day to welcome

  9. sayings connected with May-Day.


    I
    One is, that on May-Eve, no farmer should leave out his cows, for, the fairies might come and take a small amount of milk from each cow, and take their "luck". Then the cows would give no milk until the following May.
    II
    Another saying is that, long ago in Ireland the girls would go out about four o'clock on May-morning, and wash their faces in the dew, and by doing so they would have lovely complexions.
    III
    On May morning, all the people watch their neighbours chimneys, to see who will have the first sign of smoke, for, it is counted very unlucky to be first.
    Long ago in Ireland the brightness of the first morning of May inspired many noble men to compose poems.
    Here is "Fionn's Song in Praise of May-Day"

    "May-Day! delightful day!
    Bright colours play the vale along:
    Now wakes at morning's slender ray,
    Wild and gay, the blackbirds song."

    This composition was written by_

  10. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Sadie Daly
    Informant
    Obdt. Chris Daly

    In this district many feasts are observed throughout the year. The principal ones are St Stephens Day, Christmas Day and May-Day.

    In every house games are played by the children on November night. They also have nuts and apples for entertainment. On May Day a bush is made. It is made on the night before MayDay. It is decorated with ribbons and egg-shell.
    On St John's night a bonfire is lit in this district. In most houses a cock is killed on St Martin's night and the blood of the cock is thrown out in the yard. This is said to bring luck as it is said, if you don't kill for St Martin he will kill for himself.
    On St. Stephen's

  11. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Margaret Guinan

    May Day: May Day occurs on the 1st of May. Children get a May Bush and decorate it with eggshells and bunches of cowslips and primroses and brightly coloured papers. The sells of the eggs that are laid on Good Friday and eaten on Easter Sunday are kept to decorate the May Bush. There is a verse attached to the first of May:

    "The first of May
    The first of Summer
    The second of May
    The fair of Ballycumber"
    St. Brigids Day; St. Brigid's Day occurs on the first of February. On the eve of the feast rush crosses are made and hung up in some part of the house. St. Brigid was supposed to have made similar onces when she was on earth.
    St. Swithin's day: It falls on the 15th July, If it rains on that day it is supposed to rain fro forty days and forty nights. If it is fine on that day it will be fine for the same period.

  12. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Aine Gilligan
    Informant
    Michael Gilligan

    You should not churn on May Day.
    You should not give away milk on May Day.
    You should never throw out ashes on Monday.
    On Good Friday no horses should be yoked until twelve o'clock.
    You should not open an umbrella in a house, as it is uinlucky.
    You should leave the plough on the headland on Saturday evening.
    When a person dies in a house you should stop the clock.
    You should not dig a grave on Monday, because if you do you will be digging one for your

  13. Churning

    Language
    English
    Informant
    John Groome

    horse-churns were used. Then all the vessels connected with the making of butter were wooden - wooden tubs for collectng the cream called (cílearaí) "keeler" singular. These were anywhere from half a foot to a foot in depth, and at least a foot and a half in diameter. Something like a flat wooden saucer was used for skimming - now an ordinary delph saucer is used and in some houses they have separators. These only made their appearance twenty years ago here. Supersititions: we must always churn on May Day or we will have no butter for the year. If a stranger comes in he must "take a hand" at the churn (localism) or he brings off the profit of the milk. If a stranger comes in and lights his pipe

  14. May Day

    Language
    English

    May Day

    Long ago all the old women used to put on a leather apron on May morning about six o'clock and gather all the dew they could, and put it in a bottle and while they were gathering they used to say "By the dew of the grass, and by the head of corn all my neighbours goods for me." And when they were churning they put some of this dew in the churn, and they were able to get all the butter from their neighbours.

  15. There are many sayings about May-Day, and in Ireland especially many of the old customs are still practiced. Our forefathers must have been very superstitious, for, even at the present time, some people believe that the fairies are particularly busy during May.

    Here are some of the customs which are practiced on May-Eve and on May-Day.

    (1)
    If a woman is churning, she puts a red coal into the churn before starting, so that if anyone comes in, they cannot take the butter through the exercise of any magic powers.
    II
    It is also the custom to put a branch of a chestnut tree over the door on May-Eve to keep the fairies, who are travelling from north to south, from entering the house.
    III
    To bring a blessing on your crops or your house, you are supposed to put a piece of "maypole", or rowan tree as it is sometimes called, over the door or on the headland.
    There are very many

  16. The Lore of Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Richard Bracken
    Informant
    Joseph Bracken

    The first day for digging new potatoes is the 29th of June and it is lucky to sow potatoes on Good Friday.
    May day is an unlucky day for people to give away meat, or salt or milk to anyone. People thing they would never have it if they give it away on this day.
    People say it is unlucky to keep the water which they are after waching their feet in, in at night.
    So every one throws it out when they have finished with it.

  17. Local Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Bridget Guinan
    Informant
    John Guinan

    Years day. It is also unlucky to bring in the may bush into the house until after May Day. It is custom to have your hair cut on Good Friday because it always grows well after you wash it on that day you will not catch cold.
    People in this locality mark an egg laid on Good Friday with a x. This egg is called a Good Friday egg and portion of it is eaten by every member of the family on Easter Sunday as it keeps away sickness. If primroses are brought into a house where a goose is hatching it

  18. (no title)

    There used to be what was called "The Gooseberry Fair" held every year in Cloneygowan.

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Mrs Peter Mc Kenna
    Age
    75
    Occupation
    farmer
    Occupation
    housewife

    There used to be what was called "The Gooseberry Fair" held every year in Cloneygowan. The whole countryside from here used to go to that. Dancing used to take place there and it is said that it was the principal opportunity for matchmaking. Mrs McKenna and her sisters used to attend this fair. She says here's what used to be written on the sugar-sticks: -- "Cock of the Walk," "How do you do without one," "Top of the Morning."
    Benfield Gate, Larke's Turn, and up the Borness Lane used to be favorite places for dancing especially on Sunday evenings in the summer. Mrs McKenna remembers these pastimes and used to attend them but they are discontinued a long time. Concertinas, fiddles, flutes or whistles were the usual instruments.
    Sledge-throwing, weight-throwing, weight-lifting, wrestling, walking on stilts, lifting bags of corn etc used to be practised.
    On May day the lads cut a May bush and the girls decorated it with ribbons, coloured papers or cloths, and egg-shells, and they danced around it. There is no tradition of crowning a May queen.
    Stone-throwing and hurling were also practised. Also high-jumps, long-jumps, and tug-of-war.

  19. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Lily Boylan

    They do not like to give anything on May day.
    On St John's eve the people used to light a "bon-fire". A lot of people used to gather to-gether and they would go to a certain place. They would light a big fire of turf and sticks. They would stay there half the night dancing and singing. Then the old people come a-long. They pray over the fire. Then when they are coming home. They get a stick and stick it in a coal of fire. They bring the coal and throw it out in their own field and they pray to St John to protect them from evil during the year.
    On Christmas eve night the people in my district light a candle in every window in the house. The Blessed Virgin goes round from house to house on that night. They leave the candles lit to show her light. On that night the people remain up until twelve o'clock. Then they go out into the stable to watch the ass bending his front knee at twelve o'clock to adore the new

  20. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Lily Boylan

    music with them, such as a mouth organ or a melodeon. One or two of them dance and sing at the door. They always get money at every house or currant bread. One of them carries the money, afraid they might be robbed. Then when they are finished they divide the money between them.
    On St Brigids eve the people make crosses from wood, and they hang them on the ceiling over the door. They also put crosses on the stables out-side to protect the houses and stables from evil during the year.
    Long ago the people in my district used to make a "Brídeóg" of wood. They used to carry it from house to house. They would go into the house and dance and sing. On may eve the people in my district put up a "May bush". They put it down in the ground in front of the door. They get a white-thorn bush. They decorate the bush with egg-shells, flowers, and ribbons. The people do not like to give out milk on May day because they think they would have no luck.