In EventsFamily

As the rest of the British Isles prepares to celebrate Halloween on the 31st October, the Isle of Man will celebrate Hop Tu Naa, an old unbroken Manx tradition.

Here are 10 quirky facts you may not know about Hop Tu Naa:


Hop Tu Naa is the oldest continuous Manx tradition where people, back in the day, would celebrate the safe gathering of the harvest and the preparations that had been made for the long winter ahead


Celebrated on the 31st October, it is the Manx equivalent of Halloween and derives from 'Shoh ta'n Oie' ('This is the Night' in Manx Gaelic)


Also known as Oie Houney (November eve) or Hollantide, it marks the beginning of the Celtic New Year and the start of winter


Old customs included:

  • Setting fire to gorse to ward off bad faeries
  • Predicting the future via Soddag Valloo (a ‘dumb cake’ girls made and ate which supposedly showed signs of their future husbands)
  • Going around the houses signing rhymes and asking for rewards


Turnips, also known as ‘moots’, are traditionally carved as opposed to pumpkins


Back in the olden days, it was customary for children to knock on people’s doors with turnip lanterns and receive pieces of bonnag, herring or potatoes instead of sweets


The Manx Gaelic song “Jinny the Witch”, still sung by children to this day, is based on the real life witch trials of a Manx woman named Joney Lowney who was tried at Bishop’s Court for witchcraft in 1715 and 1716

Jinny the Witch went over the house
To get the stick to lather the mouse
Hop tu naa, my mother's gone away
And she won't be back until the morning


Hop Tu Naa is said to bring good fortune in some eyes


A Manx superstition included filling your mouth with water, holding a pinch of salt in each hand and listening at a neighbour’s door to their conversation; the first name mentioned was supposedly the name of your future husband


Hop Tu Naa is a time for getting together with your family, having fun and celebrating. People gather for singing, dancing, storytelling, divination games, cooking and turnip carving


Traditional Hop Tu Naa at Cregneash
Family Event
Traditional Hop Tu Naa at Cregneash

The ‘Traditional Hop-Tu-Naa’ day will be a day for people to head to Cregneash and soak up the atmosphere of Hop-Tu-Naa with traditional activities such as crafts, music, singing, dancing.

Scarefest 2019 at Milntown
Hop tu Naa/Bonfire Night
Scarefest 2019 at Milntown

☠️ SCAREFEST IS BACK ☠️ Enter the woods in small groups from 6pm – 7:30pm (family and child friendly) or 9pm -10:30pm for the brave (strictly 12+) for a spine-chilling immersive walk-through experience. You will be given a survival briefing before you are sent on your way to follow a winding, dimly lit route through the petrifying overgrowth, down into the wicked woods, past the abandoned mill building, and into the ghostly gardens. Watch out for the ancient monks who roam freely through the gardens

Hop-Tu-Naa Spooky Lunch Train
Family Event
Hop-Tu-Naa Spooky Lunch Train

Join us for a family-friendly meal on board the Hop-tu-Naa spooky lunch train. Why not dress up and join in the fun!

Turn Up for Turnips
Family Event
Turn Up for Turnips

Head to Cregneash and carve your turnip lantern in time for Hop tu Naa. Celebrated on the 31st of October, Hop tu Naa is the Manx equivalent of Halloween, with some very important differences. Unmistakably, one of the key features of hop-tu-naa is the "moot" (turnip), which is hollowed out and decorated. *Please note this event does not take place on Sunday 27th October 2019.



  1. Maggie
    Enjoy reading and learning the Manx traditions!

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