As the rest of the British Isles prepares to celebrate Halloween, Manx National Heritage will stage its annual Hop tu Naa celebration at Cregneash from Friday 26 October 2018 to Wednesday 31 October 2018.
The celebration will start of 26 October at Cregneash when Manx National Heritage is hosting a Hop tu Naa Ceili with The Kippercaillie Band. The evening includes a seasonal ‘knees up’ or shindig, with a warming supper in the Hop tu Naa marquee at Cregneash. Tickets for the Ceili cost £20, available from the Manx National Heritage website.
On 27, 29, 30 and 31 October, families are invited to ‘Turn up for Turnips’ and carve your turnip lantern in time for Hop tu Naa. The turnips are grown in the fields at Cregneash using traditional farming techniques. Admission is free for children with the ACE cards kindly supported by the Fedelta Group, Friends Members and Season Pass Holders. A small charge of £1.50 applies for turnips. Turn up anytime from 10am to 4pm.
On 28 October, Cregneash Village comes alive with lantern carving, cookery, customs, music and dancing for the annual Traditional Hop Tu Naa event, which also includes opportunity to sample local produce from the Isle of Man Farmers Market and the ‘Train Smoker’.
For one day only, ‘Jinny the Witch’ will be casting spells in the legendary Harry Kelly’s Cottage. There will also be the opportunity to participate in the sport of turnip bowling, enjoy face painting, glitter tattoos, crafts and more. The event begins at 10am and concludes at 4pm with a turnip parade around the village. Admission costs £8 for adults and £4 for children. Infants aged 4 and under go free. Turnips at the event are free.
For all those wishing to create a more bespoke creation for Hop tu Naa, Manx Street Artist James Duggan will host a Turnip Carving Workshop in Quirk’s Croft on Tuesday 30 October. Tickets cost £25, available from the Manx National Heritage website.
Helen Ashcroft, Area Site Manager for Manx National Heritage said:
“Hop tu Naa at Cregneash has become an annual celebration, with events for the whole family and a great opportunity for everyone to find out more about the customs and traditions of Manx Hop tu Naa. All the activities will take place under cover at the National Folk Museum at Cregneash, so visitors do not need to worry about the weather. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in”.
The events are supported by volunteers from the staff team at Lloyds Bank International and members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage.
Historically Hop tu Naa on the Isle of Man has been considered to be the Celtic New Year, marking the end of the summer and the beginning of winter. It was traditionally a time when Manx people would celebrate the fact that the harvest had been safely gathered in and all the preparations had been made for the long cold winter ahead.
Traditionally 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, given some sweets and the odd penny as well. Girls would stay at home and try to discover who they were going to marry. They hoped that by eating a salted herring or a soddag valloo (dumb cake) of flour, salt, eggs (shells and all!) and soot, they would dream of their future husband. Not all of these traditions have survived but many children still go out with a carved turnip lantern singing the Hop tu Naa song around the streets.
To find out more, visit www.manxnationalheritage.im.