Blúiríní Béaloidis – Irish May Day Folklore

The first of May is marked in Ireland (and across Europe more broadly), as a day on which the summer is welcomed in; where garlands of flowers decorate the houses, in which young women of the locality bring cattle up to higher summer pastures to graze, in which the community re-asserts its boundaries, and the family unit aims to garner for itself prosperity and good luck for the coming summer. In this edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments, hosts Claire Doohan and Jonny Dillon discuss some of the traditions and customs popularly observed at this time; from hiring fairs and Booleying, to shapeshifting witches and May altars. For now, rough winter has gone, and flowers cover the world – therefore we bid you welcome, noble summer!