A Manx Christmas Tradition

 Thanks once again to the wonderful Culture Vannin website for this information....


The White Boys are coming...



If you don't know the Isle of Man's distinctive mummer's play, this is where to go to find out more: https://culturevannin.im/manxfolklore/the-white-boys-505782/

A key part of the Christmas period on the Isle of Man is the White Boys play (Ny Guillyn Baney).

This traditional Manx 'mumming' play is not performed to any stable script, but it always includes a few key elements: saints, a fight, a death, a resurrection thanks to 'the Doctor' and a happy ending. This play has been seen on the streets of Manx towns and villages all over the Island during the Christmas period in the 19th Century and beyond.

The play includes a special White Boys' Carol, and it concludes with a sword-dance which finishing with the distinctive holding aloft of the swords interlocked into a hexagon.


You can watch a performance here by clicking on this image ...






16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this JayCee. I seem to recognise the location of the video. Isn't that the site of the ancient Manx parliament? Great that there are people who maintain such traditions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks YP. Yes that video was shot at Tynwald Hill, St Johns, the ancient site where the Manx people traditionally gather each year to hear the promulgation of the laws.

      Delete
  2. It's good to see them keeping the Manx traditions alive.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting to see a different tradition. It looks like a bit of fun with Xmas flavour. Can't see it in person so shall follow your link

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is silly fun. Probably better to see it in person (bit chilly out there though!)

      Delete
  4. Thank you for that. Keith enjoyed that - his Manx roots go back in written records to the 16th C. and doubtless beyond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so pleased he enjoyed it. I shall try to find more Manx "stuff" for him!

      Delete
  5. I'd never heard of this, and it led me back to explore 'mummers'. The things that I learn from reading blogs. This looks like such good fun, and I love the way that they incorporated current events into such an old custom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love the way many old customs have been perpetuated and still enjoyed to this day.

      Delete
  6. I am surprised that someone hasn't banned the name " white boys" ! It will happen!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh dear. They are named after their white costumes (bed sheets!) but I suppose it could get misconstrued.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It looks like great fun for performers and their audience. I always find serious traditions with a touch of humour much more enjoyable than something straight laced!
    Love their costumes - no expense spared!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks like a cross between Morris dancing and a Monty Python sketch. Thanks for sharing this Manx custom.

    ReplyDelete

Although I am quite used to talking to myself, any comments on my posts are very welcome, provided they are not abusive. I do reply to them so please check back. It's good to talk (!)