Thursday, May 30, 2024

Rathowen woman keeping the May Bush tradition alive

Rathowen woman Margaret Kelly is keeping the old tradition of the May Bush alive and hopes younger generations will follow suit.
The tradition is celebrated on 1 May when people decorate a bush — usually a hawthorn — with ribbons, cloth, streamers and tinsel in celebration of May Day and the birth of the Virgin Mary. It was strongest in the Midlands and throughout Leinster but was also celebrated in Galway, South Ulster and Donegal.

“The first of May is the blessed virgin’s birthday, they tell us. It’s a time of prayer and promise. I always have great belief in the blessed virgin. It’s a great tradition to put it up. It’s supposed to be great luck for growth,” Margaret told Topic.

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