[From Manx Soc vol 16, 1869]


This day is superstitiously regarded in the island. No iron of any kind must be put into the fire on that day, and even the tongs are laid aside, lest any person should unfortunately forget this custom and stir the fire with them; -by way of substitute a stick of the rowan tree is used. To avoid also the necessity of hanging the griddle over the fire, lest the iron should come in contact with a spark or flame, a large bannock or soddog is made, with three corners, and baked on the hearth. -(Train, vol ii p, 117.)

Triangular cakes are mentioned as being made in St. Kilda's Isle, and were used on different deemions, as noticed in the Festa Anglo-Romana, on " All Souls' Day," November 2d. The custom of soul mass cakes are given to the poor in Lancashire and Herefordshire, and who say this old couplet-
-" God have your soul,
Beens and all"

In Bury, Lancashire, on Mid-Lent Sunday, vast quantities of cakes are annually consumed under the name of " Simnels," locally called " Cymbalin Sunday." A custom peculiar to the island prevails on this day, particularly in the west and south, for the people to go to the strands or creeks along the shore to gather mussels, flitters, and other shell-fish, and dullish. Should the day be fine a great number of both sexes may be seen in the evening returning with their baskets and handkerchiefs well laden with the aftenoon's toil to be enjoyed at the evening's meal.

This is an old custom, and made quite a Manx merry-making, which I have not observed noticed elsewhere or any explanation as to its origin.


Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001