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 ancient unbroken Manx tradition.

Ahead of the 31st we've compiled 20 fun facts you may not know about the ancient Manx festival...

1.     Hop Tu Naa is the Manx equivalent of Halloween

2.     It traditionally marks the beginning of the Celtic New Year and the start of Winter

3.    The term, originates from the phrase “Shoh ta’n Oie”, meaning “This is the Night"

4.    Traditionally, turnips are carved as opposed to the popular pumpkin

5.    Traditionally, money and coins are given rather than sweets and confectionary 

6.    The Manx Gaelic song “Jinny the Witch”, sang on Hop Tu Naa, is based on the real life witch trials of a Manx woman named Joney Lowney, who was accused of witchcraft in November 1716 and sentenced to death

7.    Jinny the Witch crimes’ included cursing a neighbour’s milk

8.    The song “Jinny the Witch” originated over 100 years ago

9.    Hop Tu Naa adopts the traditional custom of "singing around the houses"

10.    It happens to be one the most ancient festivals celebrated worldwide and in Manx culture

11.    In the olden days, it was customary for children to knock on neighbouring doors with turnip stumps or cabbages on sticks, and in return they would receive bonnag, the traditional Manx bread delicacy, herring or potatoes

12.    There is more than one version of the “Jinny the Witch” song 

13.    The origins of Hop Tu Naa are unclear

14.    Old customs included setting fire to the Manx gorse to warn off bad fairies

15.    Turnip carving decorations include: cats, castles, fishing boats, a witch and a cottage with smoke coming out of it

16.    Occasion and spirit are the key themes of the traditional song, performed throughout the festival

17.    Hop Tu Naa is said to bring good fortune

18.    The celebration includes singing, dancing and general foolishness 

19.    The earliest mention of Jinny the Witch was in 1900

20.    Turnip is also known as “moot"

Discover your IOM Story at one of the Isle of Man's extraordinary events... Autumn sees an abundance of events on offer, including Hop Tu Naa treasure hunts, fire festivals, craft workshops, Oktoberfests, Heritage open days, live music gigs, art exhibitions and more.