Galicia will be the nation guest of honour this summer at the Lorient Interceltic Festival (LIF)
For 10 days and 10 nights, Lorient will become the Interceltic Capital, where thousands of artists and festival-goers from around the world come together every year to share these common roots!
750,000 festival-goers
200 shows
4,500 artists
12 stages
1,600 volunteers
9 Celtic nations

Lorient Interceltic Festival, is a music festival dedicated to the encounter of Celtic cultures from all over the world, this summer in Brittany.

Each year, musicians and dancers are invited to perform and let the festival-goers discover their traditional music, always mixed with contemporary influences. This year the guest of honour of Lorient Interceltic Festival is Galicia, located in the north-west corner of the Iberian Peninsula.

Some key information:

* one of the largest festival in Europe (+750.000 festival-goers, 12 stages, 200 shows and more than 4.500 artists)

* famous Galicians artists performing, including Mercedes Peón, Banda de Gaita de Forcarei, Carlos Núñez and many more

* Goran Bregović, Peatbog Fearies, Martin Hayes Quartet and many other international artists

* 10 Celtic countries with their own artists and stages (Galicia guest of honour, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Wales, the Isle of Man, Australia, Canada, Asturias, Brittany)

Moreover, Brittany and its Morbihan Gulf, are one of the first tourist destinations in France with its wild beaches, its amazing history and its gastronomy. The festival could be a great opportunity to discover more of this wonderful region and its famous traditions.

Last year’s inaugural Oie Voaldyn Manx Fire Festival in Peel was literally a spectacular success which returned with an even bigger display during the early May bank holiday weekend.

Traditionally, Oie Voaldyn (May Eve) was a time to celebrate the return of fertility to the land and recognise joy, revelry, courtship, romance and the potential for new life. An opportunity to cast off the shadow of darkness and enjoy the light. The use of fire was an important custom at this time of year in order to fend off witches and evil spirits, but was also acknowledged as a purifier and healer. Winter gorse was burnt away in anticipation of new growth, and farmers would drive livestock between bonfires in order to cleanse and protect them before release into the fields.

This year’s festival, however, was a re-interpretation and modernisation of the old Manx customs associated with the eve of May Day – which quickly captured the imagination of visitors to the occasion.

Spokesperson for the festival, John Shakespeare, commented “We soon recognised there was a real desire to revive some of our unique Manx customs. We don’t intend to recreate ancient practices, but to continue in the spirit of our forebears and create our own connection to the cycles of the seasons. Oie Voaldyn celebrates the traditions of the past with an eye on the future, but the aim of the festival is to bring people together to acknowledge and celebrate the return of summer.”

The event itself presented a spectacular performance, with the excitement of torchlight processions, inspiring music, dancing and roaring bonfires. Additionally, there was a dramatic interpretation of the traditional, mock battle between summer and winter during the evening. It was a fully costumed event, including such intriguing characters as the Gorseman, the Boneman, the Phynodderree and a flock of Loaghtan sheep, as well as the two main stars of the event – The Queen of Summer and the Queen of Winter.

It was a fully choreographed and narrated event, concluding with fire poi, fire spinning and a fabulous firework display against the dramatic, historical backdrop of Peel Castle.

Entertainment during the afternoon included live bands on stage, dancing and speciality food producers down by the quayside, with Viking Games on the beach, guided tours of Peel in Manx Gaelic and an opportunity to make a traditional Crosh Cuirn (rowan cross) to keep away those evil spirits which may be lurking nearby.

Valerie Caine

© May 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life

WE’RE EXCITED!!!! Mark the Date! 6th-9thAugust 2020

Plans are progressing for the 2020 North American Manx Association Convention. It will be held at Hotel 1620 right on Plymouth Harbor and will run from 6th-9thAugust 2020. We picked  Plymouth as it is the 400th Anniversary of the landing of the settlers aboard The Mayflower, who included Myles Standish, a Manxman. Plymouth will be a hosting a year long celebration. This is a great opportunity to celebrate being Manx AND American!

We are planning a two-site visit with guided tours during the weekend to the world famous Plimoth Plantation and a replica of Mayflower. This is definitely one for the children and grand-children!

We have blocked off rooms and you should quote NAMA2020 when reserving your room. Only book the hotel directly by phone or on their own website. Please, please, please do not book in any other way, as we could be financially liable if we fail to hit our room allocation. Our specially negotiated rate at this busy harbor hotel is $229 per night.

This is an American celebration and we have some fun events planned. We will also reacquaint ourselves with Captain Myles Standish, the militia man aboard the vessel, who is of Manx descent, and delightfully links our American and Manx heritages.

While flights to Boston are plentiful, the bus link to Plymouth stops short of the town and will require a taxi pick up from a drop-off point. You might want to consider renting a car. The hotel has lots of parking spaces. Please mention any disabilities when you reserve your room. Quote: NAMA2020. Hotel Phone Number: +1 (508) 747-4900 Website: 



Isle of Man

Fear agus deithe (Men and Gods)

A fictional novel, written by John and Lottie Christian

Cincinnati residents, John and Lottie Christian, recently donated copies of their new novel, Isle of Man – Fear agus deithe (Men and Gods), to the Irish Heritage Center of Cincinnati. Their novel is already part of the Henry Bloom Noble public library collection in Douglas, Isle of Man, and is sold in bookshops across the Island.

Isle of Man – Fear agus deithe (Men and Gods)combines two fictional stories into a single work, mixing medieval Manx with modern times. This is an intriguing philosophical novel about tenacity, resilience, vengeance, and empathy of humankind in an ever-changing world—and how political and religious revisionism may have affected and influenced civilizations throughout the ages.

The two stories intertwine, addressing man’s feeling of resentment and isolation when faced with life changing events, causing him to feel he is an island unto himself; creating a literary double entendre. Both stories contain vivid dream sequences and poetry allowing for multiple interpretations of meaning. In the end, the human spirit is enriched despite dire circumstances. The combination of these two stories will captivate the reader’s imagination, showing how love and understanding can transcend the hands of time.

The novel represents years of research into Island history, customs, culture, language, and folklore of the Isle of Man, and was designed and written for the reader. Copies can be purchased at The Booksellers on Fountain Square, 505 Vine St, Cincinnati, or online from Lily Publications Limited(, PO Box 33, Ramsey, Isle of Man, British Isles, IM99 4LP.

John and Lottie Christian


I’m a Welsh artist based in Cardiff and Pontypridd. I’m a Fine Art MA student, and my work is currently centred around where people of Celtic heritage have historically and contemporaneously emigrated to.
Part of my current practice involves sending small pieces of artwork to members of the Celtic diaspora anywhere in the world, with a request that they photograph it somewhere where they live and send the picture back to me – the work is theirs to keep afterwards. I’m hoping to build a collection of images that illustrate the variety of places Celtic peoples of any generation now live, whilst providing an opportunity for participants to speak about those places. In turn I hope to explore and foster discussion around the reasons for emigration, and the imprint our cultures and languages have left in small corners of the globe.
Each piece is about the size of a postcard, I’ve sent out around 50 so far and have had a few images back – you can follow the results on Twitter via @Arlunydd and #CelticDiaspora.
Please get in touch if you are interested in participating!
Ellwyn Male
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Pat Boehne’s Condo – Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 11:30 am-2:30 pm

Address for the next meeting:

Applewood Point (near south town)

8100 Russell #212

Bloomington, MN, 55431

Downstairs Party Room

This meeting we will be celebrating the 40th year anniversary of the Manx Society of Minnesota!

We will be partying down with giveaways, trivia, games, and drawings for prizes. There with be presentations on the history of the society the flora of the island.

We will have a TEA with coffee, tea, water, low sugar juice, tea cakes/cookies, and Manx broth soup w/bonnag provided and please also bring a dish to share.

At your earliest convenience RSVP to both Sally Dahlquist at salgrl @ and Amy amyrudnitski @ we look forward to seeing you!

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The late Nigel Kneale is considered to be the Island’s most successful radio, television and film scriptwriter, subsequently immortalised by his creation of the cult BBC TV science fiction series Quatermass during the 1950s. But a rarely heard play entitled The Road, recently aired on BBC Radio 4, revealed another side of his work.

He was born in Dalton in Furness in 1922, but the Kneale family returned to the Isle of Man six years later, when his father, a journalist, joined his brother to run the Mona’s Herald.

Upon leaving Douglas High School for Boys he initially studied law, but soon realised that his talents lay elsewhere, writing several short stories reflecting upon Island rural life and published in 1949 under the title Tomato Cain and Other Stories. He ultimately left the Isle of Man to study acting at RADA. and was presented with the Somerset Maugham Award, but then concentrated on writing for the burgeoning television industry.

Voted Manxman of the Year in 1957, Nigel Kneale soon formed an impressive reputation as an innovative screenplay writer, although he did decline the early James Bond films.

Adapted by Toby Hadoke, who kept as close as possible to the original script, he described The Road, last seen on television more than fifty years ago, as a lost classic. It centres upon the ghostly activity of a country wood in 1768, but playing against the backdrop of this story is the dichotomy between the scientist and the philosopher who jockey for position throughout this narrative of the supernatural; which ultimately becomes a tale of futuristic horror. The main players in this formidable production (played by Mark Gatiss and Adrian Scarborough) remain at odds with each others’ beliefs throughout the story, but there’s a terrifying realisation for one of them in the closing moments of the play.

Unfortunately the original televised broadcast was systematically wiped, along with countless other programmes at the BBC during the 1960s/1970s, but the script, described as ‘one of the greatest missing masterpieces’, survived. A 1964 Australian TV version was also lost.

Recorded at Maida Vale Studios in London and Salford’s Media City, Hadoke’s contemporary version benefited from some of the original radiophonic sound effects and the talent of actor Hattie Morahan, whose late father, Christopher, directed the original adaptation. The recording was also attended by Nigel Kneale’s widow, Judith Kerr. A successful writer herself (Mog, The Tiger Who Came To Tea), she spoke fondly about her late husband and his work.

A study of Nigel Kneale’s productions reveal a tendency for prophecy, but look closely and you’ll also find a trail of subtle Manx references. One of the main characters in The Road, Squire Hassall, may well be named after the man who lies in Malew churchyard, better known these days under the sobriquet of the Vampire Grave. Additionally, in the story, unseen people walk upon cobbles beneath the road on Michaelmas Eve and strange cries rent the air – a parallel, perhaps, with the ‘little people’ travelling to and from an ancient barrow (burial mound) to Maughold churchyard using underground passageways, and the sound of angry voices at a hill fort in Castletown.

He also introduced Manx topics into his radio drama The Long Stairs (based on the Snaefell mining disaster) and his only stage play Crow, centring on the life of the Manx slave trader Captain Hugh Crow of Maughold, which regrettably never went into production.

Nigel Kneale died in 2006.

(Images courtesy of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins and Pip Phillips)

Valerie Caine

© March 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life)

The blossoming of early snowdrops often provides a lifeline into better days, with early birds scouring sheltered gardens and country nooks for signs of change in the final days of winter.

But one of the most popular venues for sighting this delicate, but yet robust little gem, is Dalby House, situated close to the village of the same name on the west coast. It’s an annual event organised by a successful team from St James Church in Dalby, which, with the kind permission of Mrs Clarke, allowed a large number of afternoon strollers to sample the delights of her private grounds. There was a rich display of snowdrops upon entering the driveway, but it’s the sheltered woodland at the rear of the property which was awash with an explosion of ethereal beauty. It was a heart-warming experience which couldn’t fail to lift the spirits of those who strolled nonchalantly amongst the blooms. Different varieties of snowdrops have been cultivated over the years at Dalby House, some of which were available for sale on the day.

This was followed by a sumptuous afternoon tea back at the church (something for which they’re renowned) amongst good company and lashings of tea and cake in front of a welcome open fire.

Valerie Caine

© March 2019

The Celtic festival season bursts into life this weekend with Cwlwm Celtaidd, a family-friendly festival which retains strong links with the Isle of Man and presents a packed weekend programme of concerts, dances, workshops, street displays and legendary bar sessions in the seaside town of Porthcawl.

Returning after a year’s hiatus to assess the festival’s future strategy, Cwlwm Celtaidd has gone into partnership with TRAC Cymru, an initiative which promotes and encourages the participation and development of the folk music scene in Wales.

Manx group Perree Bane, who will attend this year’s festival, has forged a long term relationship with organisers of the event, presenting a striking presence with their colourful costume adapted from historical record, and often seen at local events. Based in the south of the Island, the group’s name is taken from the Manx Gaelic words for ‘white jacket’, which partners the Loaghtan wool trousers worn by the men of the group.

Although still firmly linked to its home town of Porthcawl in South Wales, a further major change for the festival is a move into the Hi Tide Resort and Complex, which first opened its doors in 1947 as a beach shop with refreshment stalls, but has developed into the borough’s top cabaret and function venue.

Cwlwm Celtaidd also provides a great opportunity for an early, seasonal break – combining local amenities and outdoor pursuits with the richness of a fast-paced and rewarding festival.

Valerie Caine

© March 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life)

Following an enquiry from Sam about the Mary Weller award at Yn Cruinnaght, Chloë Woolley tells us she had a root in her stock/archive boxes cupboard at work at Culture Vannin, and, unlike the silver cup she had in mind, discovered . . .

She thinks it had been stored in the attic of Ramsey Town Hall and passed to Culture Vannin a few years ago. Now the LMS committee will need to discuss its future. Members’ ideas welcome.

It’s interesting that the plaque at the bottom says: Yn Chruinnaght Solo instrumental 11 years and under
Winners were:
1996 Kate Collister
1998 Lindsey Skillicorn
1999 Lindsey Skillicorn
2000 Kirsty Kermeen
And the final winner was
2003 Tom Callister Wafer (who has now gone on to be a well-known fiddle
player with Imar and Barrule!)

On the back it says Hand Carved C. Jefferson 1989

Sam Weller