[From Manx Reminiscences, 1911]




Row shiu rieau freayll arrey dy yeeaghyn yn myrrh cheet ayns blaa ? Va mee freayll arrey un oie, jeih bleaney as daeed er dy henney, dy akin eh. Va sorch cair dy myrrh gaase ayns garey ben Juan Mooar, as dooyrt ee dy row ee er n’akin eh cheet ayns blaa keayrt ny ghaa. Va ymmoddee ‘neenyn as guillyn goll hug yn thie eck mysh ‘nane jeig er y chiag fastyr shenn Laa yn Ollick. Va’n oie rioagh, as nagh row lane soilshey er yn eayst. Va ben Juan v’ee ben feer chrauee, as va shin kiaulleeagh carvalyn yn Ollick dy cheau yn traa. Ren ben Juan jeeaghyn dooin yn voayl va’n lhuss gaase, as ren ee scrapey yn ooir voish yn lhuss, son cha row eh monney erskyn y thalloo. Va londeyr eck, as hie ee magh dy yeeaghyn cre’n aght ye geddyn er dy chooilley jeih minnidyn, ny kiarroo oor,




WERE you ever watching to see the myrrh coming into flower ? I was watching one night, fifty years ago, to see it. It was the right kind of myrrh, growing in Big John’s wife’s garden, and she said that she had seen it flower many a time. Many boys and girls went to her house about eleven o’clock on Old Christmas Eve. It was freezing, and there was not much moonlight.

John’s wife was a very religious woman, and we were singing Christmas Carols to pass the time. John’s wife showed us where the " herb" was growing, and she scraped the mould from the herb, for it was not much above the ground. She had a lantern, and she went out to see how it was getting on every ten minutes or quarter of an hour.

Ve traa feer neu-aasagh maree tra hie shin geiyrt urree ec mean oie. Agh cha voddagh shin fakin veg dy chaghlaa ayn. Ren shin fieau oor elley smooinaghtyn nagh row yn traa kiart. Ren yn chenn yen goaill lane yindys cre v’er jeet harrish, son dooyrt ee dy vel ee er n’akin eh keayrt ny ghaa. Hie shin ooilley thie jerkal as mollit. Agh, moghrey laa ny vairagh, ren shin clashtyn tra hie ben Yuan Mooar ersooyl ayns yn gharey moghrey er giyn, ren ee fakin dy ren yn myrrh blaaghey lurg ooilley. Hug ee fys gys paart dy feallagh aegey, as ren ad ooilley soiaghey jeh. Lurg da ooilley ny feallagh elley er gholl ersooyl, hie mee reesht hug yn gharey marish fer elley, as ren mee fosley sooil yn vlaa, as honnick mee duillagyn noa.

It was a very uneasy time with her when we went after her at midnight. But we could not see any change. We waited another hour, thinking it was not the right time. The old woman wondered much what had come over it, for she said she had seen it many a time. We went all home hoping and disappointed.* But, on the morning of the next day we heard that when Big John’s wife had gone into the garden next morning, she saw that the myrrh had flowered after all. She sent word to some of the young people, and they were all satisfied. After all the others had gone away, I went again to the garden with another, and opened the sheath of the flower, and I saw the new leaves.

* I.e. With disappointed hopes.

Lane bleeantyn lurg shoh ren mee jannoo yn Un red gys yn lhuss ayns garey Juan Cannell, ec yn voghrey jeh’n astyr shenn Laa yn Ollick as honnick mee ny blaaghyn noa ec y traa shen. Ta blaaghey yn myrrh fosley yn tooill er y vullaght as yn vlaa noa cheet rish. Va paart jeh ny blaaghyn currit lesh hyms voish Yn Owe er shenn Laa yn Ollick, agh vod duillagyn noa golirish feallagh elley.

Va'n astyr shenn Laa yn Ollick Jesarn yn vlein shen, as er shenn Laa yn Ollick ayns yn Chabbal dooyrt peccagh ennagh dy negin da ye yn laa cair, son dy ren yn myrrh blaaghey riyr. Yn dooinney ren fosley sooill yn vlaa, tra cheayll eh, v’eh agglit, as dooyrt eh dy ghow eh cha nearey jeh hene nagh row fys echey cre dy yannoo.

Ta mee er ye freayll arrey er yn oie cheddin er ny shellanyn cheet magh, agh cha darragh ad magh fegooish bwoalley yn chishan shellan.

Ta mee er clashtyn sleih gra dy vel ny stuit goll er nyn ghlioonyn ec y traa cheddin, agh cha vel ad jannoo eh agh tra t’ad boirit, as cha vel agh paart jannoo eh ec yn traa shen.

Many years after this I did the same thing to the herb in John Cannell’s garden, on the morning of the eve of Old Christmas Day, and I saw the new buds at that time. The flowering of the myrrh is opening of the sheath at the top, and the new bud appears. Some of the flowers were brought to me from The Howe on Old Christmas Day, but they were new leaves like the others.

Old Christmas Eve that year was on a Saturday, and on Old Christmas Day in the chapel a person said it must be the right day, because the myrrh had flowered last night (night before). The man who opened the sheath of the bud, when he heard it, was frightened, and he said he was so ashamed of himself that he did not know what to do.

I have been keeping watch on (watching) the same night the bees coming out, but they would not come out without hitting the hive

I have heard people say that the bullocks go on their knees at the same time, but they do not do so but when they are bothered, and only some of them do it then.


Yn chied phyagh ta cheet er essyn y dorrys ayns yn vlein noa ayns Mannin t’eh enmyssit "Yn Quaaltagh." Ta’n chied phyagh nagh vel jeh’n lught thie, as er yn obbyr echey hene. Ren shenn sleih goaill baght my va’n phyagh dorraghey, ny aalin, va’n trie ny coshey echey ard ny injil, v’eh berchagh ny boght, dy yannoo faishnaghyn daue hene. Va jough dy lhune, ny dy jough lajer elley, ny paart jeh red erbee ta goll, arran, praasyn as skeddan currit da. Va persoon erbee nagh ren freayll yn cherin cliaghtey liorish cur red ennagh, v’eh coontit feer voal. Te er jeet dy ye drogh cliaghtey, son ta paart dy leih goll mygeayrt veih thie dy hie, as t’ad gaase scooyrit.

V’ad cliaghtey cur greesagh voan, ny greesagh gheayl, er yn chiollagh. V’ad jeeaghyn son cowrey coshey. Va cowrey coshey goll magh monney baase, as va cowrey coshey cheet stiagh monney poosey.


The first person who comes on the sole of the door in the new year in the Isle of Man is called "The Quaaltagh" (meeter). It is the first person not of the household, and on his own work (business). The old people took notice (view) if the person was dark or fair, his instep high or low, if he were rich or poor, to foretell their luck. A drink of ale, or of other strong drink, or some of anything that was going, bread, potatoes, and herring, was given to him. Any person who did not keep up the old custom by giving something was considered very mean. It has come to be a bad custom, for some people go about from house to house, and they get drunk.

They used to put turf ashes, or ashes of coal,on the hearth. They looked for a footmark. A footmark going out was a sign of death, and a footmark coming in was a sign of marriage.


Ta’d gra dy vel ad goll er yn " unnysup." " Red erbee sailliu cur dooinyn."

Ve ec y toshiaght yn eeck currit da’n viol cloieder son yn chirveish echey ec oanluckyn, farraghyn, poosaghyn, as feaillaghyn, as ye cha booiagh currit da as leagh yn taggyrt. Ve lurg shen cheet dy ye red erbee va cliaghtey, va shiu toilliu.

Ve mennick eeckit ec y traa, mannagh row eh eeckit hie eh reesht gys y thie dy gheddyn eh. Tra v’eh eeckit ye cliaghtey dy ye meer dy argid.

Er y twoaie,* va’d genmys eh "Yn Wandescope".

Ny " guillyn baney," " guillyn sheig yn drean," as " quaaltaghyn " hooar ad yn unnysup. Ta mee er chlashtyn my yishig vooar gra dy row ny briwnyn eeckit lesh yn unnysup Va’n leigh ec y traa shen leigh chleeau. Ta ny Briwnyn ny feallagh s’jerree jeh ny Druee.

* Jeh’n Ellan.


They say that they are going on the " deserving." " Anything you wish to give us."

At first it was the payment given to the fiddler for his service at burials, wakes, marriages, and feasts, and it was as cheerfully given to him as the payment of the parson. After that it became anything customary, which you deserved.

It was often paid at the time, but if it was not, he came again to the house to get it. When it was paid it used to be a piece of silver.

In the North* they called it " The Wandescope." [fpc ? if same as Roeder's unnesup]

The " White Boys," the " Hunt the Wren Boys," and " Quaaltaghs " received the " desert." I have heard my grandfather say that the deemsters were paid by the " deserving." The law at that time was breast-law. The deemsters are the last of the Druids.

* Of the Island.


Va keayrt dy row shenn skeeal dy row yn sheean va jeant ec y drean er kione dollan chiaullee, tra va ny sidooryn Sostnagh as Manninagh ayns Nherin, ren eh dooishtey seose yn ler va freayll arrey, ren sauail ad ye goit gyn yss daue lesh ny Yernee, ayns yn Irreemagh Yernee, as va’n oyr da Shelg yn Drean er Laa Noo Steaon. Ye yn credjue oc dy jinnagh eh cur lesh aigh vie dy ren eh cur er shenn gheiney as guillyn aegey dy roie geiyrt er, harrish cleiee as jeeigyn, derrey veagh eh tayrit. Yn dooinney ren tayrtyn eh va’n dooinney mooar jeh’n laa ec yn traa shen, as cur eh lesh aigh vie da ooilley yn vlein. Ya’n ushag veg dy kiaralagh tashtit, as currit lesh er boayrd vaatey gys yn skeddan son aigh vie.


There was once an old story that the noise made by the wren on the end of a drum, when the English soldiers and Manx (fencibles) were in Ireland, which woke up the man who was keeping watch (sentry), saved them from being taken unawares by the Irish, in the Irish Re-bellion, and was the cause of hunting the wren on St. Stephen’s Day. It was the belief that it would bring good luck that made old men . and young boys run after it, over hedges and ditches, until it would be caught. The man who caught it was the great man of the day at that time, and it brought him good luck the whole year. The little bird was carefully kept, and brought on board the boat to the herrings (herring fishing) for good luck.

Ya paart jeh ny fedjagyn currit da sleih elley, as ren paart freayll fedjag ayns yn sporran oc.

Ya’n drean beg currit er maidjey eddyr daa ghuilley, er meer dy villey-juys chianglt lesh ribbanyn, son cowrey jeh’n immeaght mie oc, as ayns cooinaghtyn jeh’n aigh vie t’eh er chur lesh ayns laaghyn foddey er-dy-henney. Va trass ghuilley as v’eh coodit lesh lieen, as yn eddin echey jeant dhoo, as va dossan dy lhuss kiangit cooidjagh son dy yannoo famman cheuchooylloo. Hug eh lesh lorg liauyr son maidjey, as ren eh freayll traa lesh yn arrane. Ya’n drean shelgit ayns Nherin son dy row ad smooinaghtyn dy row eh fer-obbee.

Ec yn Ollick, va guillyn aegey cliaghtey goll mygeayrt lesh nyn eddinyn jeant dhoo, as bayrnyn bane mraane, as apyrnyn orroo, daunsin as kiaulleeagh,

" Roie ! ben Juan Tammy."

Some of the feathers were given to other people, and some kept a feather in their purse.

The little wren was placed on a stick between two boys, on a piece of fir tree tied with ribbons, for a sign of their good going (success), and in remembrance of the good luck it had brought in days long ago. There was a third boy, and he was covered with a net, and his face made black, and a bunch of leeks tied together to make a tail behind his back. He carried a long pole for a stick, and he kept time with the tune. The wren was hunted in Ireland for (because) they thought he was a " buitch " (witch).

At Christmas young boys used to go about with their faces made black, and women’s white caps and aprons on them, dancing and singing,

" Run ! John Tommy’s wife."


Ya’n "Giense" feailley v'ad freayll ec yn oie, boayl va ny ‘neenyn aegey as ny guillyn aegey meeteil son daunsin. Ya bun fockle voish "gien", ben, as "oieys", oie. Foddee eh ye bun fockle jeh "unnysup," cheet voish yn "ob," ny "obbyr," jeant liorish yn viol cloieder ec yn ghiense, bastaghyn, poosaghyn, farraryn, oanluckyn, as feaillaghyn. "Gien," "oieys," as "ob," ny "obbyr," ta shen "giense ob," ny " unnysup" Hooar eh meer dy argid son yn obbyr echey, cha beg ny wheesh as bailleu cur da.

Va mainshter yn ghiense yn fer dy reih yn leggad ec yn daunse. Ya ny keayrtyn yn vainshter as v’eh inshit da dy chur ny piyryn aggairagh cooidjagh, son shen v’eh geddyn leagh, as veagh shoh oyr dy ve neu-aasal, as cree ching, son va dagh fer booiagh geddyn yn ‘neen echey hene, ny yn nane bliak lesh. " Eaisht jee, as clasht jee, as cur jee my-ner. Ta N. as M. legadyn son yn vlein shoh, as ny sodjey my oddys ad cordail. Moylley as soylley, jingey as pronney."

Va’n ghiense cummit er fastyr shenn Laa yn Ollick, as cre erbee yn leggad ren yn vainshter cur da fer, v’eh smooinit dy reayll ee son yn slane vlein.


The "Giense "was a feast kept at night, where young men and young women met for dancing. The root of the word was "gien," a woman, and "oieys "night. It may be that the root of "unnysup "comes from the "ob," or "obbyr " (work) done by the fiddler at the "giense " (nightly feast), baptisms, marriages, wakes, funerals, and feasts. "Gien," "oieys," and "ob" or "obbyr," that is "giense ob" or "unnysup." He got a piece of silver for his work, as little or as much as they would like to give him.

The master of the feast was the person to choose the partner at the dance. Sometimes the master was told to put the wrong pairs together, for that he would get a price (bribe), and this was a cause of uneasiness and heart-sickness, for each one was wishful to get his own girl, or the one he liked. "Listen, hearken, and take notice. N. and M. are partners for this year, and longer if they can agree. Praise and enjoy, press and eat your fill."

The giense was held on the eve of Old Christmas Day, and whoever was the partner the master gave to one, he was thought to keep her for the whole year.

Ta skeeal mysh shenn shaner Juan Sam. Y’eh ec farrar ec Ballacriy. Y’eh eeder jollyssagh, as gee eh wheesh gys derrey huitt eh jeh’n stoyl v’eh ny hoie er, as haink eh dy ye feer ching. Ya ooilley yn sleih ayns y thie smooinaghtyn dy row eh paartail.

Dooyrt y ven-oast rish yn viol cloieder, "Dooar oo yn unnysup yn chubeyr myleeaney ? " "Cha dooar," dooyrt yn viol cloieder. "Nish yn traa ayds. Foshil yn sporran echey as gow eh nish."

Ya’n unnysup red va sleih cur da ny ylleyderyn moghey, ny mummeryn, ny guillyn vaney, ny quaaltaghyn, ny guillyn Shelg yn drean, ny guillyn Hop tu Naa. "My ta shiu goll dy chur red erbee dooin cur dooin eh ec keayrt, er nonney bee mayd ersooyl lesh soilshey yn eayst." Oddagh eh ve jough lhune, skeddan hailjey, eeast, arran as caashey, braghtan, ny red erbee bailliu cur daue. Haink eh lurg shen dy ye red erbee va shiu toilliu,* son dooyrt ad tra yinnagh pyagh erbee jannoo aggair, "Yeryms unnysup dhyt."

* Kerraghey.

There is a story about John Sam’s great-grandfather. He was at a wake at Ballacriy. He was a greedy eater, and he ate so much that he fell off the stool he was sitting on, and he became very sick. All the people in the house thought he was going to die.

The hostess said to the fiddler, "Didst thou get the 'unnysup' (thy deserving) from the cooper this year ? " " I did not," said the fiddler. "Now is thy time. Open his purse and take it now."

The "unnysup "was what people gave to the early callers (waits), mummers, White Boys, Quaaltaghs, Hunt the Wren Boys, and Hop dy Nai. "If you are going to give us anything, give us it soon, or we shall be away with the light of the moon." It might be ale, salt herrings, fish, bread and cheese, a butter cake, or anything you liked to give them. It came afterwards to be anything you deserved,* for they said when any person did anything wrong, "I will give thee the unnysup (what you deserve)."

* Punishment.

Ta’n oie jeh’n ghaa yeigoo laa jeh’rt chied vee jeh’n gheurey ta’n toshiaght jeh’n vlein ny ashoonyn Gailckagh.

Bollagh ny guillyn aegey goll mygeayrt er yn oie shen kiaulleeagh shenn arrane as drane, "Hop ! ta’n Nai."

Ya shenn ghooinney, enmyssit Illiam y Duke, va ynsit ayns ooilley shenn skeeallyn Manninagh, as dinsh eh dooys, mysh jeih bleeaney as daeed er-dy-henney, dy row eh smooinaghtyn dy row ny focklyn "Noght ta’n Oie," as dy row eh boggey son yn cheet stiagh yn vlein noa. Son dy row yn fastyr as yn moghrey yn chied laa, as va’n astyr toshiaght yn laa.

Te goll rish "Blein maynrey noa "ayns Baarle. Ta’n laa enmyssit "Laa Houney."

Cha vel fys am quoi va Souney, agh beign da er ye nane jeh ny nooghyn.

Ta’n traa jeh’n vlein enmyssit Martinmas ayns Baarle, as foddee "Souney" er ye enmyssit " Martin," son ta Martin nane jeh ny shey enmyn shinney ayns Mannin.

The eve of the twelfth day of the first month of winter (November) is the beginning of the year of the Celts.

Young boys used to go about on that night singing an old song and rhyme "Hop ta’n Nai."

An old man, called William Duke, who was learned in all old Manx stories, told me, about fifty years ago, that he thought the words were "To-night is the night," and that it was joy for the coming in of the new year. For the evening and the morning were the first day, and the evening was the beginning of the day.

It is like "Happy New Year "in English. The day is called Hollantide Day.

We do not know who was Souney, but he must have been one of the saints.

The time of the year is called Martinmas in English, and "Souney" may have been the name of "Martin," for Martin is one of the six oldest names in the Isle of Man.

Ayns Nalbin ta’n ole enmyssit "Hallow E’en."

Ren ny ashoonyni Gailckagh credjal dy ren reddyn ta ry-heet ceau caslys roue ro laue, as va ny Manninee booiagh dy gheddyn faishnaghyri inshit daue, as er yn oie shoh v’ad jannoo ymmyd jeh ooilley ny aghtyn va fys oc er.

Ren ad jannoo ymmyd jeh ooilley ny shenn chliaghtaghyn imraait liorish Bobby Burns, ayns yn arrane echey "Hallow E’en."

Shegin da " Noght ! ta’n Oie " ye feer shenn, son ta’n chiaulleeaght ayns yn Mode Dorian.

Ren wee screeu eh veih’n choraa chiaullee Hom Kermode, Bradda. Ren eh coayl shilley ny sooillyn echey lurg yn vreck wooar tra v’eh feer veg, as v’eh eignit dy yannoo ymmyd jeh ny cleayshyn echey ayns ynnyd ny sooillyn echey.

In Scotland the night is called Hallow E’en.

The Celts believed that things to come cast their shadows before them beforehand, and the Manx were fond of getting fortunes told to them, and on this night they used all the methods they knew.

They used all the old customs mentioned by Bobby Burns, in his poem " Hallow E’en."

" To-night is the night " must be very old, for the tune is in the Dorian Mode.

I took it down from the singing (voice) of Thomas Kermode, Bradda. He lost the sight of his eyes after small-pox when he was very little, and he was obliged to use his ears in place of his eyes.

Va cooinaghtyn yindyssagh mie echey, as v’eh mie dy chiaulleeagh, as va enn echey er yn ghlare Vanninagh feer vie.

Ta’n chooid smoo jeh ny focklyn as arraneyn ta ayms goit sheese veih’n chiaulleeaght echey, as ren mee ceau lane ooraghyn maynrey ayns screeu ad sheee.

Ga dy row eh doal, ren eh tannaghtyn ec yn obbyr echey myr eeasteyr son ymmoddee bleeantyn.

Va lane tushtey echey, as ta mish lhiastyn lane da son yn tushtey t’eh er choyrt dou er bea ny Manninee ayns toshiaght yn nuyoo cheead yeig blein.

T’eh toilliu shoh dy reayll eshyn ayns cooinaghtyn.

He had a wonderfully good memory, and he was good to sing, and he knew the Manx language very well.

The greater part of the words and songs that I have are taken down from his singing, and I spent many happy hours in writing them down.

Although he was blind, he continued at his work as a fisherman for many years. He had great intelligence, and I owe him a great deal for the knowledge he has given me of the life of the Manx at the beginning of the nineteenth century. He deserves this to preserve his memory.


Hop ! ta’n oie. Noght oie Houney.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Mairagh Laa Houney.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Kellagh as kiark.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Shibbyr y gounee.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Cre’n gauin gow mayd?
Hop ! ta’n oie. Yn gauin beg breck.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Kerroo ayns y phot.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Vlayst mee yn vroit.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Scold mee my scoarnagh.
Hop ! ta’n oie Roie mee gys y chibbyr.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Diu mee my haie.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Eisht cheet ny yel.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Veeit mee poul kayt.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Ren eh scryssey
Hop ! ta’n oie. Ren mee roie.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Roie mee gys Nalbin.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Cre naight ayns shen?
Hop ! ta’n oie. Yn cheeaght va traaue.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Ny cleain va cleiee.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Va ben aeg giarey caashey.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Yn skynn va geyre.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Yiare ee e mair.
Hop ! ta’n ok. Lhap ee ‘sy clooid.
Hop : ta’n oie. Ghlass ee eh ‘sy choir.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Ren eh sthock as stoyr.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Three kirree keeir.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Va ec Illiam yn Oe.

My ta shiu cur veg dou,
Cur eh dou nish,
Son ta mish laccal goll thie
Lesh soilshey yn eayst. Hop ! ta’n oie.


Hop ! ta’n oie. To-night is Hollantide Night.
Hop ! ta’n oie. To-morrow is Hollantide Day.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Cock and hen.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Supper of the heifer.
Hop ! ta’n oie. What heifer shall we take?
Hop ! ta’n oie. The little spotted heifer.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Quarter in the pot.
Hop ! ta’n oie. I tasted the broth.
Hop ! ta’n oie. I scalded my throat.
Hop t ta’n oie. I ran to the well.
Hop ! ta’n oie. I drank my fill.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Then coming back.
Hop ! ta’n oie. I met a pole-cat.
Hop ! ta’n oie. He grinned.
Hop ! ta’n ole. I ran.
Hop ! ta’n oie. I ran to Scotland.
Hop ! ta’n oie. What news there?
Hop ! ta’n oie. The plough was ploughing.
Hop ! ta’n oie. The harrows were harrowing.
Hop ! ta’n oie. A young woman was cutting cheese.
Hop ! ta’n oie. The knife was sharp.
Hop ! ta’n oie. She cut her finger.
Hop ! ta’n oie. She wrapped it in a cloth.
Hop ! ta’n oie. She locked it in a chest.
Hop ! ta’n oie. It made stock and store.
Hop ! ta’n oie. Three brown sheep
Hop ! ta’n oie. Had William the grandson.

If you give me anything,
Give it me soon,
For I want to go home
With the light of the moon. Hop ! ta’n oie.

Er Laa Houney hie ny guillyn ayns garaghyn as ny magheryn, as ren ad tayrn cabbash as cassyn cabbash, as eisht goll mygeayrt bwoalley ny dorrysyn.

Va ‘neenyn aegey as guillyn aegey chymsagh dy cheilley dy yannoo giense, as v’ad cliaghtey dy phrewal caghlaaghyn dy aghtyn dy gheddyn magh faishnaghyn. Tra v’ad er phrowal ooilley ny saaseyn va fys oc er, hie ny ‘neenyn dy uinney yn soddag valloo. Cha row pyagh erbee dy loayrt un ockle, as va dy chooilley nane dy chooney dy yannoo yn teayst. Ye fuinnit er yn ghreesagh, ny er yn losht. Tra ye fuinnit, ye brisht seose, as va dagh ‘neen meer eck jeh. Hie ee dy lhie shooyll goll y yerree, as yinnagh ee fakin caslys jeh’n ghraihder eck ayns ashlish.

Tra nagh ren ad fuinney yn soddag valloo, ren ad gee skeddan hailjey, ayns yn un aght, as yinnagh eh jannoo kiart cha mie.

On Hollantide Eve boys went into gardens and fields, and pulled cabbage and cabbage stalks, and then went about beating the doors.

Young girls and young boys gathered to-gether to make a spree, and they used to try different ways of finding out fortunes. When they had tried all the ways (methods) they knew, the girls went to bake the dumb cake. Nobody was to speak one word, and every one was to help in making the dough. It was baked on the ashes, or on the bake stone (griddle). When it was baked, it was broken up, and each girl had a piece of it. She went to bed walking backwards, and she would see a sign of her lover in a dream.

When they did not bake the dumb cake, they ate a salt herring, in the same way, and it would do quite as well.

Ta’n chliaghtey cur hibbin, hollin, as hilley millish, ayns ny thieyn ec yn Ollick cheet veih ny Drui.

V’ad smooinaghtyn dy row ny spyrrydyn, va freayll ad geayney fegooish fioghey, yinnagh freayll ny thieyn, as adsyn va cummal ayndoo sauchey cour yn gheurey.

Ren ny ashoonyn quaagh freayll yn ard eailley ec yn traa s’girrey jeh’n vlein, as ren ad genmys eh " Saturnalia."

Ye ec y traa va’n ghrian jeeaghyn dy ye coayl yn varriaght, as eisht ghow ee toshiaght dy irree reesht.

Ya’n feailley shoh toshiaght yn Ollick. Ren ny creesteenyn ghoaill toshiaght dy reayll yn eailley ocsyn ec yn un hraa, as va’d ooilley goaill emshir feailley cooidjagh ayns shenn hraaghyn.

Va kainleyn losht feiy laa er Laa yn Ollick, myr cowrey soilshey yn theill, imraait liorish y Noo Ean y Tushtalagh.

The custom of putting ivy, holly, and bay-leaf in the houses at Christmas comes from the Druids.

They thought that the spirits, that kept them green without withering, would keep the houses, and those that were living in them, safe for the winter.

The foreign nations kept their high feast at the shortest time of the year, and they called it " Saturnalia."

It was at the time the sun seemed to be losing the victory, and then it began to rise again.

This feast was the beginning of Christmas. The Christians began to keep their feast at the same time, and they all took holiday together in the old times.

Candles were burnt all day on Christmas Day, as a sign of the light of the world, mentioned by Saint John the Evangelist.

Va ny jeantee kainle cur kairileyn da’n sleih va kionnagh voue dy kinjagh, as va shen toshiaght y Nastey Nollick.

* Va darrag yn Ollick currit leshthie dy yannoo aile mooar son spongey ny beiyn ec y feailley.

* Ta kione y chollagh muck, yn vuck spongit, yn " baron " dy eill vart, yn chlaare pheacock, ta ymmyd jeant jeu ec y traa t’ayn liorish slught thie reeoil, as liorish yn Schoill Ven Rein ec Oxford. Ta " baron " dy eill vart dy kinjagh er n’ghoaill veih beiyn yn Ree.

* Va’n Darrag yn Ollick foaddit liorish meer goit veih yn Darrag yn Ollick nurree.

* Ta attey dy hollin mygeayrt y mysh kione y chollagh muck, as va ny feeacklyn vooarey echey shliawinit.

Ta ny guillyn vaney, as ny guillyn " Roie! Ben Juan Tammy " yn fooillagh jeh ny cloiederyn ec yn " Saturnalia."

The makers of candles gave candles to the people who bought from them regularly, and that was the beginning of Christmas Boxes.

* The Yule log was carried home to make a big fire to roast the animals at the feast.

* There are a boar’s head, a roast pig, a " baron " of beef, and a dish of peacock, used at the present day by the royal household, and at Queen’s College at Oxford. The " baron" of beef is always taken from the stock (animals) of the King.

* The Yule log was lighted by a piece taken from the Yule log of the last year.

* The boar’s head has a crown of holly about it, and its big teeth (tusks) are polished.

The " White Boys " and the " Run John Tammy’s Wife " are the remains of the players at the " Saturnalia."

* Ayns Sostynta’d enmyssit ny " mummeryn." Ta’n Billey Ollick as yn lorg Yoaldyn cheet veih Scandinavia.

* Ta’n lorg Yoaldyn cowrey jeh’n undin billey dy hraa. Ta ny fraueyn echey goll gys Niau raad ta’n foawr rioee cummal, as gys y voayl raad ta’n ard-nieu mooar, as fo ny fraueyn echey ta’n ynnyd ny merriu.

* Ta’n Billey Ollick cheet veih Germany. Mysh hoght bleeaney roish ren Ben Rein Victoria cheet hug stoyl reeoil, er yn nuyoo laa as feed jeh’n vee meanagh jeh’n gheurey ayns y vlein hoght cheead yeig as nuy as feed, v’eh ayns pash as currit er yn voayrd lesh three straneyn dy chainleyn kere shellan, cullyrit, as v’eh coodit lesh jesheenyn.

* Cha nel ny cliaghtaghyn shoh Manninagh.

* In England they are called the " mummers." The Christmas Tree and the Maypole come from Scandinavia.

* The Maypole is an emblem of the foundation of the tree of time. Its roots go to heaven where the frost giant dwells, and to the place where is the great serpent, and under its roots is the place of the dead.

* The Christmas Tree comes from Germany. About eight years before Queen Victoria came to the throne, on the twenty-ninth day of the middle month (December) of winter in the year eighteen hundred and twenty-nine, it was in a pot, and placed on the table with three rows of wax candles, coloured, and it was covered with toys (ornaments).

* These customs are not Manx.

Va jinnair eeast eeit liorish Creesteenyn Raueagh er oie’n Ollick, myr troshtey. Va astanyn-awin yn ard eeast.

Er lhimmey paitchyn aegey, cha jig Creestee Raueagh erbee dy lhie derrey nee eh fakin yn ghrian girree moghrey Laa yn Ollick.

Ta’n guil gaase er yn villey ooyl, as er yn villey darragh, as cha vel eh dy bragh bentyn rish y thalloo. Shen yn oyr v’eh cha casherick da ny Drui.

Va ny blaaghyn hibbin thummit ayns ushtey eayl dy yannoo ad gial.

Va’n thammag-phaagey ayrn jeh’n "Saturnalia."

Va kainleyn er lheh jeant er son yn ‘ ‘ Oie’ll Voirrey," as va ny kainleyn dy mennick jeant ayns three banglaneyn. Sleih va dy mie jeh vod cur lhieu ny kainleyn oc hene gys yn Oie’ll Voirrey.

A fish dinner was eaten by Roman Catholics on Christmas Eve, as a fast. The eel (river eel) was the chief fish.

Except young children, no Roman Catholic could go to bed until he saw the sun rise on Christmas Day morning.

The mistletoe grows on the apple tree and on the oak tree, and it never touches the ground. That is the reason it was so sacred to the Druids.

Ivy flowers were dipped in lime water to make them white.

The kissing bush was part of the "Saturn-alia."

Candles were especially made for the Eve of Mary, and the candles were often made in three branches. People who were well off carried their own candles to the " Oie’ll Voirrey."


Back index next

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 1999