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Traditional Manx May Day celebrations at Cregneash

Laa Boaldyn May Day celebrations at Cregneash. Perree Bane dance by Harry Kelly's Cottage

Laa Boaldyn May Day celebrations at Cregneash. Perree Bane dance by Harry Kelly's Cottage

  • by Mel Wright
 

May Day was believed in the Isle of Man to be a dangerous time of year, when the seasons shift from winter to summer witches and faeries were thought to be at their most threatening.

Locals would make crosses to protect their homes and livestock.

Manx National Heritage (MNH) marked this special Gaelic May day at Cregneash on Monday, May 5, and helped visitors protect themselves (and any animals) against malign forces by making crosh cuirn (a cross made of rowan) to be put at the threshold of the house, cowshed or even tied to the cow’s tail.

Yellow spring flowers were also used as protection and placed around the house. There was also Manx music and dancing with Perree Bane.

‘It went really well,’ said Helen Ashcroft, MNH site manager at Cregneash.

‘Plenty of people turned up. With the Manx music and dancing it was a charming little event.’

In the afternoon, professional tour guide Andrew Foxon led a guided spring tour from the village to Spanish head and Black head, pointing out areas of natural historic and archaeological interest.

‘That was really fascinating’ said Helen. ‘I have walked round this area all my life and he has opened my eyes to what is there.’

The summer seasonal guided walk is on Saturday, July 5, leaving Cregneash’s cummal beg shop at 2pm. Tickets cost £6 and places are limited, book at Cregneash, the Manx Museum or phone 648000.

 

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