taking our culture forward

Harvest is a time for celebration and tradition and at the centre of this is the Babban ny Mheillea.

At the centre of the Isle of Man's fouyr (harvest) customs is the Babban ny Mheillea. This harvest baby (as the Manx Gaelic translates) is a small doll made from the last sheaf of corn. It is met with cheers in the field before then taking pride of place at the centre of the Mheillea celebrations which follow. The babban is then kept on the chimney piece, where it brings good luck or wards of evil in the house, until it is replaced the following year.

The practice of making "corn dollies" stretches across Europe, but the Manx practice on the Isle of Man is unique in both the form which the babban takes and in the way it fits into the wider Mheillea celebrations.


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