Autumn has arrived and the Isle of Man prepares for one of its biggest seasonal festivals – Hop tu Naa. The traditional annual events return to the village of Cregneash, while the Island’s ancient castles host a more spooky celebration.
Hop tu Naa comes from ‘Shoh ta’n Oie’ meaning ‘This is the Night’. It is a Celtic celebration falling on 31st October and marks the last night of the Celtic New Year. It was a time when farmers would celebrate a safely gathered harvest and all the preparations were made for the long winter ahead.
Each year Cregneash welcomes hundreds of families to the farm to select their turnips and help them carve their turnip into a lantern for Hop tu Naa, as well as holding a fantastic festival of crafts, music, dance and storytelling, celebrating traditions old and new.
On Saturday 25th October at Cregneash ‘Hop tu Naa Nippers’ can sing and dance, join a welly walk around the farm to the turnip field, and enjoy Manx Fairy Tales. On Sunday 26th join us at Cregneash to celebrate our unique Manx Hop tu Naa traditions and customs. Enjoy live music, carve your turnip lantern, join in the traditional song and dance and discover recipes and superstitions from the past.
Both events take place 12pm – 4pm and feature seasonal produce from the Farmer’s Market, seasonal refreshments and face painting. Apple Orphanage join us for the Sunday event. Every child receives a free home grown turnip to carve. Admission to the events is £6 Adult, £3 Child with a 10% discount for Members.
As parking is limited at Cregneash, a free park and ride service is in operation for all event goers on the number 28 service bus from Port Erin, Port St. Mary and Scoill Phurt le Moirrey. Further information is available on our website www.manxnationalheritage.im.
If you can’t make the main events at the weekend, during half term week from Monday 27th – Friday 31st, visitors are invited to ‘Turn up for Turnips’, at Cregneash. Collect and carve your turnip for a small charge of £1.50 per turnip or bring along your own and enjoy the village in autumn time. Standard admission – local school-children go free with their ACE cards kindly supported by Lloyds Bank.
On Hop tu Naa itself, Friday 31st October, join us for an atmospheric event ‘Tales from the Crypt’ at Peel Castle. Meet the darkest characters from St Patrick’s Isle and hear their tales. It certainly isn’t the Moddey Dhoo you should look out for inside the ancient walls! Tickets are £8 per person, suitable for ages 10 and over, available in advance from House of Manannan and www.manxnationalheritage.im. Performances are brought to you Labyrinth: History in Action players and take place at 4pm and 6pm, lasting approximately one hour.
For a more family friendly after dark experience on Friday 31st October, come and explore ‘Castle Rushen in the Dark’. Bring along your torches, wrap up warm and take a spooky tour and hear from our storyteller as night falls. The event is from 5pm – 7pm, timed entry may apply on arrival. Admission is £5 Adult, £2 Child.