Tonight June 23rd is Bonfire night which will no doubt be celebrated around Boyle as has been the case for many years.
Bonfire night is a tradition that is carried on from the pagan midsummer festival.
In the past – people would say prayers around the fire, asking for God’s blessing upon their crops. They would also take ashes from the fire, and spread them over their land as a blessing for protection for their crops. It was also common to have music, singing, dancing, around the bonfire.
As might be expected, there was plenty of eating and drinking. In some areas of Connacht a special dish called “Goody” was made. This was white ‘shop-bread’ which had been soaked in hot milk and flavored with sugar and spices. It was usually made in a large pot that was either placed on the bonfire or heated on a smaller fire close by. Revelers brought their own spoons and bowls if they wanted to share in the “Goody.”
Some people would bring home an ember from the communal fire and place it on the family hearth. Some families also kept ashes from the fire for luck, others because they believed the ashes would ensure a peaceful death to old people who were ailing.