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Hop Tu Naa Celebrations at Cregneash 21 October 2010

As the rest of the British Isles prepares to celebrate Halloween, The National Folk Museum at Cregneash will stage the annual traditional Manx Hop tu Naa celebration starting at 10am on Sunday 31st October 2010.

On Sunday 31st October children will be able to make and decorate their own turnip lanterns to take home for Hop tu Naa, and take part in other various activities associated with the festive occasion. The Isle of Man Farmers’ Market will also be at the event on Sunday from 11am – 3pm.

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.

Children with turnip lanterns at CregneashTraditionally 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. Not all of these traditions have survived but many children still go out with a carved turnip lantern singing the Hop tu Naa song around the streets.

Andrew Metcalfe, Museums and Sites Manager for Manx National Heritage said: “The Hop tu Naa event at Cregneash is an event for the whole family and a great opportunity for everyone to find out more about 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. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in this customary celebration of our Manx heritage at The National Folk Museum at Cregneash from 10am to 5pm, admission is £2 on the day, and children’s entry is free for children presenting their MNH ACE cards supported by Conister Bank.

Look out for other Hop Tu Naa events by Manx National Heritage, which also have free entry for children presenting their ACE cards including:

• Turn up for Turnips from Saturday 23rd October 2010 to Saturday 30th October 2010, each child visiting Cregneash will receive a free turnip to take home.

• Witches, Wizards and Wands on Saturday 30th October at Castle Rushen.

Hop tu Naa Ghost Trains will also be operating to Castletown on 30th October during the day for families and children, whilst for adults only, there are also two special evening Ghost Trains to the ‘Quartet of Horror’ at Castle Rushen which takes place on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th October.

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