Tra­di­tion of the May Bush dis­cussed at Bun­clody li­brary

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS -

YOU may have no­ticed some brightly dec­o­rated bushes and trees spring­ing up around the county over the past cou­ple of weeks. This is part of an old tra­di­tion that stretches back years and years and has re­cently come to the fore once again cour­tesy of Michael For­tune and Aileen Lam­bert of www.folk­lore.ie.

Michael was present in Bun­clody li­brary to give one of sev­eral talks go­ing on in li­braries across the county on the his­tory of the tra­di­tion and how peo­ple can dec­o­rate their very own May bush.

The tra­di­tion was once com­mon in ev­ery vil­lage in the county and tra­di­tion­ally sees a ‘May bush’ erected on the eve of May Day, dec­o­rated with rib­bons, sea­sonal flow­ers and painted egg shells. The bush used in Wex­ford was tra­di­tion­ally a whitethorn, or a ‘skeagh’ as it is known lo­cally, which was cut down and stuck up in a prom­i­nent place; a cross roads, out­side your home or in many cases the dung heap on the farm.

This par­tic­u­lar tra­di­tion also trav­elled with mi­grants from the South East of Ire­land and is still found in parts of New­found­land to this day.

Michael and Aileen have helped to gen­er­ate great in­ter­est in the an­cient tra­di­tion in many vil­lages and Michael was de­lighted to ex­plain its ori­gins to those present in Bun­clody on the night. For any­one who may have missed the talks around the county, you can find out more at www.folk­lore.ie.

Sea­mus Kelly, Dorothy War­ren, Sr Made­line Ryan, Sean Kelly, Michael For­tune, Ned Nolan (li­brar­ian) and Dinny Han­lon at the May Bush Fes­ti­val talk by Michael For­tune in Bun­clody Li­brary.

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