Creevy Mummers, Co. Donegal, Ireland 1982

Creevy Mummers, Co. Donegal, Ireland 1982

At a pub in Ballyshannon, County Donegal a group of mummers are embracing old customs and traditions.

The mumming tradition is alive and well with groups calling on homes during long winter nights. There are several varieties of the mumming tradition across Europe. In the Pennines district of England, the mummers or sweepers call on isolated homes, hum, clean the house, collect a donation and disappear.

Mummers confine their appearances to specific times of the year Christmas, All Souls, New Year and the first Monday after the twelfth day of Christmas.

The Creevy Mummers resurfaced in Ballyshannon four years ago and confine their gallivanting to the days between 8 and 31 December. One member of the group explains that mumming has its origins in pagan ritual. He says that the first reference to mummers in Ireland was in Cork in 1695. The tradition developed and took on local significance.

It signifies the passing of seasons.

One of the most popular forms of mumming entertainment was the staging of a hero combat play usually involving the killing of one or more adversaries by a self-proclaimed hero. In Ballyshannon, the hero is Saint George and his opponent is The Turkey Man.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 November 1982. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.
Credit to : CR’s Video Vaults

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