thefadingyear

Donegal-

old-Tory-island

William Le Fanu, 1816-1894;

‘In the south and west of Ireland marriages amongst the peasantry, with rare exceptions, take place during Shrove-tide.* Many of the people think it would not be lucky to be married at any other time of the year; consequently the priest always, when it was possible, visited the island during Shrove for the purpose of solemnizing any weddings which had been arranged. It, however, sometimes happened that the weather was so stormy for weeks together that no boat could approach the island, so it had been arranged that, when this occurred, the engaged couples should at an appointed hour assemble on the east shore of the island, while the priest, standing on the shore of the mainland opposite to them, read the marriage ceremony across the water. As soon as the storm abated he went to the island and did whatever more was necessary to…

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2 thoughts on “Tory Island, Marriages & Shrovetide

  1. Hello:

    I need to get permission to quote you for a book I am writing; may I please quote this?

    “One activity involved setting several objects out in saucers or plates, which were then laid on a table. The chosen objects varied from one region to another, and even between different households, but generally a few of the following were included; a ring, a piece of wood, clay, a bean, a coin, salt, water, a button or a thimble. Once the saucers were set, a blindfolded person seated before them would pick one, the item which the person touched was symbolically believed to indicate their future situation in life. A ring meant the person would be married, a piece of wood or clay meant that they would die young, a bean or a rag meant that they would always be poor, while a coin indicated that they would be wealthy, salt was for luck, water meant that the person would emigrate or travel, while if one picked the saucer with a button or thimble it was believed they would die bachelor or a spinster.” 1

    1 The Fading Year, Halloween Divination in Ireland, October 31, 2016 https://thefadingyear.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/4081/

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