Old Customs

Kilkerrnin, Co. Galway

People consider that it is unlucky to give out money on New Year’s Day or to throw out turf mould. When changing into a new home it is considered unlucky for the household if they take either a cat, dog, or pig with them. Farmers start work on a Friday because the day is considered lucky. When shaking the first sheet of oats there is a burned coal, holy water and hen-manure put through it so that the crop would be productive. If a person got money he should spit on it in case it would be stolen. After calving there is a red string tied on the cow’s tail and a coal dipped in holy water is passed around her body three times while a person is making the Sign of the Cross. The foundation of a house is laid on Friday and a stone is place at each of the corners and left there over night. If the stones are removed in the morning the house should not be built in that site. A coal is put under the churn while the butter is being made so that that butter would not be taken. People consider it unlucky to break St Joseph’s Lily. It is unlucky to have a plant called the “Mother of Thousands” in the house. If the head of a lamb or the back of a foal is turned towards a person on seeing them for the first time, that person will have luck for the year.

Collector: Teresa Lee, Carrowntober East, Co. Galway

Informant: Mrs Murray

Place: Kilkerrnin, Co. Galway

Footnote: Duchas, http://www.duchas.ie

This page was added on 13/05/2017.

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