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Over 1000 Visitors to Hop Tu Naa Event at Cregneash 3 November 2005

    Last Sunday’s Hop Tu Naa celebrations at Cregneash was a great success, with over 1000 visitors turning up to join in the fun.

    A cartful of turnips, grown at Cregneash, was brought in to Church Farm barn ready for carving and visitors, young and old, had the chance to show off their creative talents! All sorts of fiendish faces were carved into the lanterns and by the end of the day almost 1000 turnips had been carved.

    There were many other activities on hand such as butter churning, baking ‘Hollantide’ biscuits and the opportunity to learn some Manx words, along with the traditional Hop tu naa song and dance. Children also enjoyed making Hop tu naa greetings cards. Manx National Heritage staff were on hand to teach everyone the ancient Manx customs of Hop tu naa and the origins of these festivities, in which girls made ‘dumb cakes’ or peeled apples in order to find out who they would marry while the boys caused mischief on what was known as ‘thump the door’ night. Children display their carved turnip lanterns

    Katie King and Nicola Tooms, Assistant Curators for Manx National Heritage, said:

    “It was a delight to see people of all ages singing along to the Hop tu naa song while carving their turnips and to see these customs come alive. What was most interesting was that parents and grandparents could share their memories with the children about what they used to do when they were young. It was also interesting to hear how versions of the Hop tu naa song differ depending on which area of the Island people come from.

    We are very pleased with the number of people who attended the event and this reflects the increasing popularity of Hop tu naa and the growing revival of this Manx custom.”

    The Hop tu naa event also marked the final day when Cregneash was open to visitors for the summer season. Cregneash, along with all of the other Story of Mann seasonal sites, closed to visitors on 30th October 2005. The Manx Museum, House of Manannan and Sound Restaurant and Visitor Centre will remain open throughout the year, apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The Sound Restaurant and Visitor Centre is closed on Mondays. Niarbyl Café and Visitor Centre will also remain open throughout the Winter season, and is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. For Niarbyl opening times from New Year onwards, tel: 843300.

    3rd November 2005

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