Oie'll Vreeshey at Earyween

The final evening of January was an important time in the Isle of Man, as it was Oie'll Vreeshey (St. Bridget's Eve).

The Manx believed that Breeshey would be roaming the land that night, looking for a place to stay. So you had to make ready for her, with a spare bed, food and drink. If she came and stayed with you, then good luck would be with you for the year ahead.

A story exists of this night from Ned Beg Hom Ruy (Edward Faragher), the poet of Cregneash. He tells the story of an old woman of Earyween, a farm high up the East Baldwin valley, who carried on this custom when others around her had given it up. This left her open to an abuse of her open-handedness when a wanderer happened across the freely-available food and bed...

The story is told here by Ruth Keggin, at the old farm buildings of Earyween itself, where this story took place.

Special thanks are owed to the landowners for permission to film here.

This film is also available in the original Manx of Ned Beg Hom Ruy: