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Hop Tu Naa Celebrations at Cregneash 17 October 2007

A young visitor with their turnipAs the rest of the British Isles celebrate Halloween, come along to The National Folk Museum at Cregneash on Sunday 28th October where Manx National Heritage will help you get prepared for Manx Hop tu naa.

There will be a free turnip and candle with every ticket and children will be able to make and decorate their own turnip lanterns to take home, ready for the evening. There will also be a variety of children’s activities associated with the festive occasion.

Historically Hop tu naa has been considered to be the Celtic New Year, marking the end of the summer and the beginning of winter. It was a time when people could celebrate the fact that the harvest had been safely gathered in and all the preparations had been made for the winter ahead.

Traditionally the boys would go from house to house singing the Hop tu naa song and hope to be rewarded with apples, bonnag, herring and if lucky some sweets and the odd penny. The girls would stay at home and try to discover who they were going to marry. By eating a salted herring or a soddag valloo (dumb cake) of flour, salt, eggs (shells and all!) and soot, they would hope to dream of their future husband. In recent years, young girls no longer try to find out who they are going to marry, but lots of children still go with a carved turnip lantern singing the Hop tu Naa song around the streets.

Yvonne Cresswell, Curator of Social History at Manx National Heritage commented:

“It’s a great opportunity for all to come to The National Folk Museum at Cregneash and learn about the customs behind one of our most ancient Celtic traditions that’s still celebrated. There’ll be opportunities to make a turnip lantern which can be used later that night, as well as learning a Hop tu Naa song and dance.”

The activities will all take place under cover, so do not worry about the weather. Remember, this is your chance to make sure that you have all you need to celebrate Manx Hop tu Naa.

Children display their carved turnip lanternsThe National Folk Museum at Cregneash is part of the 10,000 year old Story of Mann, open from 10am to 5pm, standard admission fee applies. Please note that Manx National Heritage Seasonal Sites close on October 31st 2007; however, the Manx Museum and the House of Manannan remain open throughout the winter period.

Come and celebrate our Manx traditions and try your hand at the activities on offer at The National Folk Museum at Cregneash, Sunday October 28th, between 10am and 4pm. Site closes at 5pm.

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