Westmeath-

041206a8
Harpers Weekly, 1870

Sir Henry Piers, 1682;

‘At Easter the more ordinary sort of people meet near the ale-house in the afternoon, or some convenient spot of ground and dance for the cake; here to be sure the piper fails not of diligent attendance; the cake to be danced for is provided at the charge of the ale-wife, and is advanced on a board on the top of a pike about ten foot high; this board is round, and from it riseth a kind of garland, beset and tied round with meadow flowers, if it be early in the summer, if later, the garland has the addition of apples set round on pegs fastened onto it; the whole number of dancers begin all at once in a large ring, a man and a woman, and dance round about the bush, so is this garland called, and the piper, as long as they are able to hold out; they that hold out longest at the exercise, win the cake and apples, and then the ale-wife’s trade goes on.’

A Chorographical Description of the County of West-Meath

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