It is said that, if you give away butter or milk on May Day you will be short of both during the year. [This is rigidly believed in this district].
If you wash your face with the dew on May morning i.e. before anybody else walks on it, you will not get sunburned for the year.
It is believed that the fairies go about on May Eve and people scatter flowers about the house to greet the fairies. Windows are (or were) frequently decorated with flowers for the same purpose (or reason). This, even in this modern age, is still done in Galway city i.e. in the outer precincts.
Long ago people used to milk cows belonging to their neighbours on the night before May Day. The belief was that, as a result, there would be no cream on the cows’ milk for the year. If mud were put on any cow’s horns she was not to be milked on this occasion. If anyone milked a cow on whose horns mud had been put, the milker would surely meet with some misfortune soon afterwards.
Nobody would put out ashes or clean out houses.
If the lace of your shoe got opened on May Day, it is not right to shut same again.
If you give away a coal of fire on May Day you will have no luck for the rest of the year.
A blacksmith never works on that day.
No lending or borrowing should be done on that day.
Neither should any water be thrown out in case any of the fairies may be hit by same.
Collector: Dónal de Grás, Ardeevin N.S.
Informants: Senior pupils in Ardeevin N.S., Cloonminda, Castlerea
Source: Folio No. 1096, Pages 22, 23. Irish Folklore Main Manuscript Collection