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Hop Tu Naa Celebrations at Cregneash 15 October 2008

As the rest of the British Isles prepares to celebrate Halloween, come along to the National Folk Museum at Cregneash on Sunday 26th 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 Hop tu naa. There will also be a variety of children’s activities associated with the festive occasion. Child with Turnip Lantern at Cregneash, Hop-tu-Naa 2007

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 traditionally a time when people would celebrate the fact that the harvest had been safely gathered in and all the preparations had been made for the long cold 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 given some sweets and the odd penny as well. The girls would stay at home and try to discover who they were going to marry. They hoped that by eating a salted herring or a soddag valloo (dumb cake) of flour, salt, eggs (shells and all!) and soot, they would 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 out with a carved turnip lantern singing the Hop tu naa song around the streets.

Yvonne Cresswell, Curator of Social History commented:

“The Hop tu naa event at Cregneash is an event for the whole family and a great opportunity for everyone to find out more the customs and traditions of Manx Hop tu naa. Visitors will be able to make and decorate their own turnip lantern to take home and they will also be able to learn the Manx Hop tu Naa song and dance”.

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

This year, for any children who are not able to attend the Hop Tu Naa event, all children visiting the National Folk Museum at Cregneash between Monday 27th October and Friday 31st October 2008 will receive a free turnip to take home in preparation for Hop tu Naa. Families carving turnip lanterns at 2007 Hop Tu Naa event

The National Folk Museum at Cregneash is open from 10am to 5pm and admission charges of £3.30 per adult, £1.70 per child or £8.30 per family (2 adults and 2 children). Members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage, children under 5 years old and children on pre-booked Manx School visits receive completely free admission.

Please note that Manx National Heritage Seasonal Sites close on October 31st 2008, 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 26th, between 10am and 4pm. Site closes at 5pm.

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