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Celebrate Laa Boaldyn (Manx May Day) at Cregneash 28 April 2010

Manx Dancers at CregneashManx National Heritage is holding a celebration of Manx May Day at Cregneash on Bank Holiday Monday, 3nd May 2010.

There will be a variety of activities throughout the day, including the opportunity to learn about the folklore and traditions of the Manx May Day through music, dance and storytelling in Harry Kelly’s cottage.

Manx National Heritage Curator for Social History, Yvonne Cresswell said: “The Manx May Day celebrations mark the time between the death of Winter and the rebirth of Summer, which was thought to be particularly dangerous period in Manx folklore. Midnight on May Day Eve was a time when witches and fairies were considered to be at their most threatening and a series of traditions arose to allay fears and protect the Manx people and their livestock from danger. The principal form of protection against mischievous fairies was the crosh cuirn (a rowan or mountain ash cross) that was placed above the door of the house, the cow shed and even tied to the cows’ tails!”

On Manx May Day, visitors to Cregneash will have the opportunity to make crosh cuirns and learn about traditional Manx cooking and the type of food that was popular at this time of the year. There will be traditional butter making in Church Farm and for visitors who get hungry watching all this food being prepared, the Cregneash tearooms will be offering their traditional Manx fare, including freshly made bonnag.

The day starts at 10am until 5pm, butter making demonstrations throughout the day and Manx dancing from 1.30pm. Visitors of all ages are welcome. Normal admission prices apply. FREE admission for ACE card holders and Friends of Manx National Heritage.

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