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27 October 2014

Hop tu Naa

Carved turnips

Hop tu naa is a very old tradition in the Isle of Man, celebrated each year on the 31st October with songs, rhymes, dancing, turnip lanterns, curious customs and stories about the local character Jinny the Witch. 

Many of our schools and children celebrate this time of year by learning the Hop tu Naa dance and song, carving turnips, having discos, ducking apples and much, much more!

It is a celebration of the Celtic New Year's Eve (like Hogmanay in Scotland), marking the end of summer and the beginning of winter. This meant harvest time was over and enough food had been gathered to last families through the cold months.

In the past, people would go around the neighbourhood with their turnip lanterns knocking on doors and singing Hop tu naa songs in exchange for sweets!

There are many Hop tu naa songs, new and old, and they often vary depending on which part of the Island they come from. 

Department of Education and Children and Culture Vannin have put together great information for us to understand more!

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