May 1 – Laa Boaldyn

In the Old Style calendar this day was celebrated on May 12 and was called Shenn Laa Boaldyn, Old May Day.  Boaldyn, known as ‘Bealtaine‘ in Ireland and ‘Bealltainn‘ in Scottish Gaelic, marks the beginning of summer and is one

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April 30 – Oie Voaldyn – May Day Eve

The customs on this eve and on May-Day were, until quite recently, commonly observed on the Old Style dates of May 11 and May 12. ►TRAIN in 1845… “Many of them (people) remained on the hills till sunrise, endeavouring to

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St Bridget’s Day and the old Caillagh

On the Isle of Man every ditch had to be full of rain or snow on St Bridget’s Day so that the old Caillagh, or hag, could not gather brasnags or faggots (sticks) for firing. If she could lay in

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Laa’l Breeshey – St Bridget’s Day

It was customary to keep this festival on the eve of the first of February, in honour of the Irish lady who came over to the Isle of Man to receive the veil from St. Maughold. The custom was to

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White Stones & Burials

White stones, ranging from the size of boys’ marbles up to that of small boulders, are plentiful in or on burial-places both ancient and recent. Almost every Manx tumulus excavated yields a quantity. In the remains of the keeills or

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Turf Gathering

As in many other parts of the British isles, a considerable proportion of the ‘waste’ lands of the Isle of Man consists of turf-bogs or moanies(1) as they are called in our dialect. Broadly speaking, the moanies are extensive areas

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The Deemsters & The Manx Courts of Law

‘The Deemsters were always officers of great dignity. They were not only the chief judges of this Isle but were also the Lord’s Privy Counsellors, and their influence over the people in some degree, resembled the civil authority of the

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The Fodder Jury

It was very difficult to keep enough fodder for the cattle in the winter. They had not much store of winter food, and they bruised gorse with mallets, in a stone trough, made of rough stones placed on end about

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Manslayers and Sanctuary

Until “Prowess,” or private vengeance, was made illegal by Tynwald Court held at Keeill Abban in 1429, a manslayer fleeing from the relatives of the victim often took refuge in Church or on other holy ground. But he was not

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The Water Bayliff

The Water Bayliff was not only an important figure in the Island’s maritime activities, but his office reaches very far back in our nation’s history. One of the Customary Laws of 1422 reads: “Alsoe be it ordained that the Water

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