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Saturday 30 March 2013

Easter Eigg

One of the oldest folk on the Isle of Eigg at the time that Calum Maclean was collecting material there in 1946 was Donald MacGuire, then aged eighty, and staying in Cleadale. The following short anecdote was collected on the 2nd of August 1946:
Dia Dòmhnaich Càisge, bhiodh iad a’ falbh a’ dèanadh Càisge a-mach a’s gach àite. Cha robh duine a’ fanail a-staigh ach a' falbh a-mach a’s gach àite, a-mach air na monaidhean is a dh’ionnsaigh a’ chladaich. Bhiodh iad a’ toirst uibhean is a chuile seòrsa biadh a b’ urrainn daibh fhaighinn a-mach leotha. Dhèanadh iad teine is bhruicheadh iad na h-uibhean. Ma dh’fhaoite an corr uibhean a dh’fhàgadh iad, gur e dalladh air a chéile a dhèanadh iad. Bhiodh iad anamoch a tighinn dachaidh. Bhiodh cuid dhe na balaich a’ cur a falach nan dusan ubh colla-diag na fichead latha ro’n am. Mu mhiadhain latha a thòrradh iad a-mach. Sin obair eile a bhiodh aca ma Chàisg a’ falbh a choimhead na gréine ag éirigh. Bha iad ag ràdha gu bheil a’ ghrian a’ toirst trì leumannan aiste leis an toileachas, ’s e sin a’ latha a dh’ éirich ar Slànaighear ó na mairbh, agus tha a’ ghrian a’ toirst tri leumannan aiste leis an toileachas an latha sin.
 And the translation goes something like this:
On Easter Sunday, they used to celebrate Easter in each place. No one stayed in as they would all go out to the hills or to the shore. They used to take eggs and all kinds of food they could find out with them. They would make a fire and they would boil the eggs. Perhaps some of the eggs would left to one side and they would throw them at one another. They would get home late. Some of the lads would hide a dozen eggs a fortnight or even twenty days before then. Around midday they would go and dig them up. Another thing that they did at Easter was to go and see the sun rise. They say that the sun leaps three times with joy as this was the day our Saviour rose from the dead and so the sun leaps three times for joy on that day.

NFC 1027: 319–20; Courtesy of the National Folklore Collection / Cnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann, University College Dublin.

Isle of Eigg. Licensed for use under Creative Commons.

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