taking our culture forward

Perhaps the most brilliantly rowdy Christmastime tradition in the Isle of Man were the mollag bands. These groups of young lads would roam around the Isle of Man's towns making 'a rare din' with their singing, dancing and loud homemade instruments.
An essential part of the tradition was the mollag (an inflated sheep's bladder, traditionally used as a buoy), with which they would hit people on the street as a part of the fun.
It was unclear whether people gave them money in thanks for the entertainment or in order to get rid of them!

Although they faded out (with the encouragement of the authorities!) at the turn of the 20th Century, we are pleased to present something of their history here.


  • The Mollag Band tradition