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Nearly 1200 Visitors to Hop Tu Naa Event at Cregneash 31 October 2006

A young visitor to Cregneash shows off his hard workLast Sunday’s Hop Tu Naa celebrations at Cregneash were a great success, with a record number of visitors, young and old, turning up to join in the fun.

A cartful of turnips was brought in to Church Farm barn ready for carving and visitors 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 making ‘Hollantide’ biscuits and the opportunity to learn the traditional Hop Tu Naa 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.

Yvonne Cresswell, Curator of Social History for Manx National Heritage said:

Visitors to Cregneash decorating their turnip lanterns“The Cregneash event provided an opportunity for the whole family to prepare for Hop Tu Naa. It also meant that parents and grandparents could share their memories with the children about what they used to do when they were young. Whether it was the different Hop Tu Naa songs they sang or the various ways to decorate a turnip lantern, it is important that these Manx traditions are passed down through the families. It was also nice to see that some of the visitors to Cregneash who are not Manx by birth were really interested in learning about the origins and traditions of Hop Tu Naa.” Visitors working on their Hop Tu Naa drawings

The Hop Tu Naa event was also the last event for the summer season, as Cregneash, along with all of the other Story of Mann seasonal sites, will close for winter on the 31st October 2006. Manx National Heritage’s flagship sites the Manx Museum and House of Manannan will remain open all year round and are open 10am to 5pm daily (Manx Museum closed on Sundays). Throughout the winter period there are also the visitor centres and restaurants at the Sound and Niarbyl to visit, for more information contact 838123 and 843300 respectively. The House of Manannan and Manx Museum will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (25th 26th December and 1st January).

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