More local stuff from Culture Vannin here...
We love a good old Manx tradition, and Twelfth Day (today) has some great ones.
Referred to by the Manx as Laa Giense (dancing or partying day!), this is the last day of the fortnight of rampant Christmastime feasting, partying and getting up to odd activities - the Kegeesh Ommidjagh (Foolish Fortnight). So tonight's evening needs to be a good one to cap it all off!
"It would seem that these entertainments were usually held at a public-house [...] the whole party sat down to supper [...] During the supper the laair vane, or white mare, was brought in. This was a horse's head made of wood, and so contrived that the person who had charge of it, being concealed under a white sheet, was able to snap the mouth. He went round the table snapping the horse's mouth at the guests who finally chased him from the room, after much rough play."
[A. W. Moore, 'Folklore of the Isle of Man']
Then, once that is done, it's time for Cutting Off the Fiddler's Head:
"On Twelfth-day the Fiddler lays his head in some one of the wenches' laps, and a third person asks who such a maid or such a maid shall marry, naming the girls then present one after another, to which he answers according to his own whim, or agreeable to the intimacies he has taken notice of during this time of merriment. But whatever he says is as absolutely depended on as an oracle; and if he happens to couple two people who have an aversion to each other, tears and vexation succeed the mirth. This they call Cutting of the Fiddler's Head, for after this, he is dead for the whole year."
[George Waldron, 'Description of the Isle of Man' http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxno.../manxsoc/msvol11/p40.htm
So, whatever you're up to this evening, we hope you'll be honouring the conclusion of the Kegeesh Ommidjagh with something suitably traditionally Manx!
More on the Laair Vane tradition is available here:
I always honour the Kegeesh Ommidjagh by watching telly while drinking a mug of Ovaltine before doing my ablutions and going to bed.ReplyDelete
I say, Old Chap. Steady on there. Don't want to overdo things at your age.Delete
No sure my comments are getting through to you. I still read you and comment but they keep getting returned.ReplyDelete
How frustrating. I have seen one or two from you which were published OK. Nothing in the Spam folder so I don't know where they have gone!Delete
Interesting. Never heard of these traditions before. The white horse made me think of the big ones that can be seen on some hills in Britain, so I went googling and found a lot more white horse traditions that I never heard about (or thought about)... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_horses_in_mythologyReplyDelete
One thing often leads to another doesn't it? I shall take a look at that article in your link. Should be interesting.Delete
It looks like your Manx white horse had been drinking the white horse whisky. Pleasing to see they keep these traditions alive.ReplyDelete
I am discovering more now than I had previously been aware of.Delete
Lots of horse skulls lately in a few blogs we follow. You have to feel a bit sorry for the horses; they are hardly creatures of horror in living form.ReplyDelete
But such big teeth!Delete
Lots of reasons to party and get wild on the Isle of Man!?! :)ReplyDelete
Any old excuse will do!Delete
It's an exciting day here too, when Spanish children traditionally receive their presents from Santa. Well that used to be the case, but now the little darlings also expect something on 25th December too!ReplyDelete
The only 12th night tradition in my family was to take all the Christmas decorations down. It was considered unlucky if you left them up any longer. I took mine down last night - all three of them!
I remember the big local celebrations for Los Reyes when we lived in Tenerife. Any excuse for fireworks back then!Delete
I take my decorations down on New Year's Day. I am fed up with them by then.
You have just as many reasons to celebrate as the Greeks. Fun fun funReplyDelete
It would be nice to have your Greek weather though.Delete
I'm seeing a lot of horse skulls over there. Tis the season? They seem to wield some sort of magic. I found one in the desert once and brought it home in my carry-on. The flight attendents took it from me and kept it in what I suppose was a special horse's head baggage compartment up front.ReplyDelete
Ah, so that's what that storage cupboard is for!Delete
They be some strange folk, them Manx people.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year, JayCee! Hope it brings you all you wished for...Delete
Oh dear. I'm a real kill-joy when it comes to things like that. I've got to the stage where, to use a good old Scots saying "I just cannae be ersed."ReplyDelete