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Household Piseogs

Piseogs collected by the children of Cappabue N.S.





v     Do not burn playing cards

v     When you are going to Mass donít turn back

v     When a person is sick, it is not right to go on a trip to see him on a Wednesday or Friday

v     When you take out sciollauns (seed potatoes) to sow them do not bring them back to the house

v     When a garden has been sown the implements should be burned

v     When going to sow the potatoes take ashes or hot embers and holy water to shake on the first ridge for good luck

v     If you meet a red haired woman on your journey some misfortune will befall you

v     Do not put fresh meat into a cart being drawn by a mare in foal. If you rub some meat to the mares tongue no bad luck will come to you

v     Donít give a hatching hen to anyone or your husband will die

v     If you hatch eggs when the tide is ebbing you will have all pullets

v     Do not bring back butter you take to the market

v     It is not right to open an umbrella inside a house

v     Do not put a spade on your shoulder inside a house




v     Donít give embers (from your fire) to anybody on this day for fear of bad luck

v     Donít give a drop of milk either

v     Donít allow hatching eggs to go from house to house on that day

St. Patrick's Day





v     A sally stick is put into the fire until red. Then it is removed and the sign of the cross is made with it on the left shoulder

St. John's Day



v     People lit fires in the garden and in the wheatfields




v     Never rock an empty cradle

v     Donít put a small child into a cradle in which another child died

v     Donít bring an unbaptised child into a house

v     Donít cut a childís hair or nails until he/she is one year old

v     Donít allow a pup into a house until a child has his/her first tooth

v     A child should be put to sleep in his/her christening robe

v     Donít make or buy a christening robe Ė get one on loan

v     Donít allow a child to look at himself/herself in the mirror until he/she is one year old

v     When you meet a newborn child you rub saliva to his/her face

v     You should put silver (money) in a childís hand so that he/she will comb grey hair Ė i.e. he/she will grow old

v     It is bad luck to carry a cradle upside down

v     Put a young child into a sling before going into a cradle.

Wakes and Funerals




v     A hen with a wisp of grass attached to her is a sign that a neighbour will die

v     Do not cut the top sod from a grave on Monday, cut it on Sunday

v     People put a crepe on a beehive

v     No funeral was held on January 1st

v     People stopped the clock when somebody in the house died

v     Water used to wash the corpse was kept until after the funeral

v     The bed was washed before anybody else would sleep there

v     The clay in the grave has healing properties

v     A personís clothes should not be burned after his death

v     It is bad luck to fall in a graveyard

v     People turn chairs and tables upside down when a funeral leaves a house

v     Every coffin should be facing south (in a grave?)

v     During the wake the corpse should be facing east

v     Young people should not see their parents being placed in a coffin

v     A corpse is borne feet forward

v     A Priestís corpse is borne head forward

v     Taking the running wax from a candle at a wake will prevent drowning

Forbidden days



e.g. Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and previously all Fridays of Lent

v     If you plough land on a black day you will not see that day the following year

v     It was bad luck to find a person dead on a black day

v     It was bad luck to put ivy on a grave on a black day

v     A reed taken from the ground had to be pulled completely. It was bad luck if resown

Christmas Eve



v     On Christmas Eve everybody should be in his/her own house

v     The doors should be left open (unlocked?)

v     If a member of the family died during the year a meal should be prepared for him/her on that night

v     A portion of the Christmas candle should be kept to give protection from storms

v     A piece of the sciollog (a potato cut for sowing) was kept and put to one side

v     The youngest boy in the house lit the candle and it was not quenched until the following day

v     People left one meal of potatoes to be dug on Christmas night. They were also eaten on that night  

v     Fresh meat taken into a house should not be taken out again

v     The same applied as far as eggs were concerned

v     On St. Brigidís Eve a white sheet was left spread on a bush but was collected before morning. Five Our Fathers and Five Hail Marys were said and then the sheet was put into a press and this was to prevent fire

v     Sometimes eggs were placed in another personís garden and they would bring bad luck if buried in the clay

v     When a person had ringworm he/she placed stones in a bag and threw it on the road. The first person to take the bag would also take the ringworm



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