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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ON THE SECOND OF FEBRUARY, THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF COUNTY
KERRY, IRELAND ANNUALLY HELD A DANCE CALLED THE "BIDDIE
BALL," IN HONOR OF ST. BRIDGET. IN ORDER TO RAISE MONEY
FOR THE DANCE, THE YOUNG PEOPLE WOULD GO AROUND FROM DOOR
TO DOOR COLLECTING FUNDS. THEY CARRIED A LIFE SIZE
STATUE OF ST. BRIDGET, WHICH WAS ALL DRESSED IN PLAITED
STRAW. THE YOUNG MEN OF THE GROUP WOULD DRESS IN STRAW
SUITS AND THE YOUNG WOMEN IN STRAW SKIRTS AND HATS. THEY
WOULD BURST INTO EACH HOME WITH STRAW DRESS AND PAINTED
FACES. THEY WOULD THEN DANCE AROUND THE ROOM TO THE TUNE
OF AN ACCORDIAN. THEY WOULD DANCE UNTIL THE FAMILY
MADE A DONATION AND THEN THIS MONEY WOULD BE USED AT THE
"BIDDIE BALL" LATER ON THAT NIGHT. THE COLLECTING OF
THE MONEY ALWAYS TOOK PLACE AT NIGHT, JUST BEFORE THE DANCE.

Submitter comment: MR. SULLIVAN FIRST HEARD OF THIS CUSTOM FORTY YEARS AGO
IN COUNTY KERRY, IRELAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; IRELAND ; COUNTY KERRY

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Festival C436.0202
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 2 Candlemas Groundhog Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

Date learned: 12-29-1963 ; 00-00-1923

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