Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting ready for Hop-tu-naa?

Great Manx Heritage Foundation resource here: http://www.sch.im/manxcurriculum/Site/MHF.html

Songs, moots and more. All you need for Halloween, Manx Style. Celebrate the end of the year in style. That's right, 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 a time when people could celebrate the fact that the harvest had been safely gathered in and all the preparations had been made for the winter ahead.Note the similarity to Hogmaney in Scottish.

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 some sweets and the odd penny. The girls would stay at home and try to discover who they were going to marry. By eating a salted herring or a soddag valloo (dumb cake) of flour, salt, eggs (shells and all!) and soot, they would hope to dream of their future husband. Lots of children still go with a carved turnip lantern singing the Hop Tu Naa song around the streets.

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