Scoil: Áth Dara (C.)

Áth Dara, Co. Luimnigh
Máire Boardman

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Festival Customs - St Stephen's Day

Tagairt Chartlainne

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St. Stephen's Day.

St. Stephen's day falls on the 26th December, which is the day following Christmas day.
On that day all shops are shut.
It is an old custom every year for boys to disguise themselves in old clothes and masks, and to go out singing and dancing from door to door gathering money.
This custom is kept alive on St. Stephen's day because it is said that one day St. Stephen was hiding in a furze bush from an enemy, when a flock of wrens flew down and alighted on the bush. The enemy being somewhere near noticing the birds strange behaviour, knew that something was astir, so going over to the bush he saw St. Stephen and captured him, so ever since on St. Stephen's day the young people of Ireland go out to hunt the wren to catch it and kill it, and then they put the dead wren on a bush and disguise themselves and they go from door to door asking for money to bury the wren.

(leanann ar an chéad leathanach eile)
David G. Knott
Áth Dara, Co. Luimnigh