Hop-tu-Naa is a Celtic festival celebrated in the Isle of Man on 31 October. Predating Halloween, it is the celebration of the original New Year's Eve ( _gl. "Oie Houney"). The term is Manx Gaelic in origin, deriving from _gl. "Shogh ta’n Oie", meaning "this is the night". Hogmanay, which is the Scottish New Year, comes from the same root.

For Hop-tu-Naa children dress up as scary beings and go from house to house with the hope of being given sweets or money, as elsewhere. However the children carry turnips rather than pumpkins and sing an Anglicized version of Jinnie the Witch. The changeover from turnips to pumpkins has also happened in Scotland, where the similar practice is called "guising".

In older times children would have also brought the stumps of turnips with them and batter the doors of those who refused to give them any money! (An ancient form of trick or treat, however this practice appears to have died out.)

Hop-tu-Naa in ManxHop-tu-Naa in English
_gl. "Shoh shenn oie Houiney; Hop-tu-naa"This is old Hollantide night; Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "T'an eayst soilshean; Trol-la-laa."The moon shines bright; Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Kellagh ny kiarkyn; Hop-tu-naa."Cock of the hens; Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "Shibber ny gauin; Trol-la-laa."Supper of the heifer; Trol-la-laa.
_gl. " 'Cre'n gauin marr mayd ? Hop-tu-naa."Which heifer shall we kill? Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "Yn gauin veg vreac. Trol-la-laa."The little speckled heifer. Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Yn chione kerroo, Hop-tu-naa."The fore-quarter, Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "Ver mayd 'sy phot diu; Trol-la-laa."We'll put in the pot for you. Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Yn kerroo veg cooyl, Hop-tu-naa."The little hind quarter, Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "Cur dooin, cur dooin. Trol-la-laa."Give to us, give to us. Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Hayst mee yn anvroie, Hop-tu-naa."I tasted the broth, Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "Scoald mee my hengey, Trol-la-laa."I scalded my tongue, Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Ro'e mee gys y chibber, Hop-tu-naa."I ran to the well, Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "As diu mee my haie, Trol-la-laa."And drank my fill; Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Er my raad thie, Hop-tu-naa."On my way back, Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "Veeit mee kayt-vuitsh; Trol-la-laa."I met a witch cat; Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Va yn chayt-scryssey, Hop-tu-naa."The cat began to grin, Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "As ren mee roie ersooyl. Trol-la-laa."And I ran away. Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Cre'n raad ren oo roie Hop-tu-naa."Where did you run to? Hop-tu-naa
_gl. "Roie mee gys Albin. Trol-la-laa."I ran to Scotland. Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Cred v'ad jannoo ayns shen ? Hop-til-naa"What were they doing there? Hop-til-naa
_gl. "Fuinney bonnagyn as rostey sthalgyn. Trol-la-laa."Baking bannocks and roasting collops. Trol-la-laa.
_gl. "Hop-tu-naa, Trol-la-laa."Hop-tu-naa, Trol-la-laa
_gl. gl|"Jinnie" is also the Manx Gaelic for stinging nettle.

In the West of the Island a longer version is sung:

:Hop-tu-naa put in a pot:Hop-tu-naa I scolded me throat:Hop-tu-naa I met an old woman:Hop-tu-naa She was baking bonnags:Hop-tu-naa I asked for a bit:Hop-tu-naa she gave me a bit:as big as me big toe:Hop-tu-naa she dipped it in milk:Hop-tu-naa she wrapped it in silk:Hop-tu-naa, Traa la lay

:Jinnie the witch is in you house:Give me a penny and I'll chase her out:Hop-tu-naa, Traa la lay

Media References

*Hector Plasm is a comic book character published mainly through Image Comics. There is a Hector Plasm story based on Hop-tu-Naa that also incorporates several other Manx legends and myths.

ee also

* Guising
* Allantide
* Calan Gaeaf
* Halloween
* Samhain


* A.W. Moore, 1896, "Manx Ballads" [http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/mb1896/p068.htm]

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