Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Hop Tu Naa Isle of Man 2024

27 October - 31 October

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Hop Tu Naa is believed to be the oldest festival in Manx culture marking the Celtic New Year at the end of October.

The festival is often dubbed the Isle of Man Halloween as it also involves witches, although at its heart is the Hop Tu Naa turnip, or moot in Manx, rather than the pumpkin. In all probability, the festivals share the same roots, with Halloween brought to the US by immigrants from Ireland and the North of England.

Origins of Hop Tu Naa Isle of Man

Hop Tu Naa Isle of Man

The expression comes from the Celtic Shoh ta’n Oie, which means ‘This is the night’, signifying the start of winter. The precise origins of the festival are unclear, but it involved the burning of gorse to ward of witches.

At some stage, children started knocking on people’s doors with a turnip – which was native to the Isle of Man in Celtic times – on a stick and in return they would be given bonnag, which is a Manx bread, or herrings or potatoes.

Nowadays, kids carve turnip lanterns and visit houses singing Hop Tu Naa songs in return for which they are given money. There is also a dance taught in schools on the island.

Jinny the Witch

Jinny the Witch is a traditional Manx song which tells the tale of Joney Loney who was sentenced for witchcraft in 1716. Depending on which version you are told, Joney was either accused of cursing a neighbour’s cow or the nearby mill, and was sentenced to death or 14 days in prison. As with most legends there are more than one tale.

Where Is Hop Tu Naa Celebrated?

Hop Tu Naa Isle of Man

It’s celebrated across the island with song, dance and a healthy dollop of fun. Cregneash, which is the National Folk Museum, will host an event teaching both the lyrics of the song and also turnip lantern carving.

When Is Hop Tu Naa 2024

Although Hop Tu Naa falls on 31 October, the festival in Cregneash is on 27 October.

Hop Tu Naa Song

If you want to get into the mood then you can find the Hop Tu Naa lyrics here. There are several versions.

Other Festivals on the Isle of Man

In addition to the world renowned the Isle of Man TT, there are frequent festivals on the Isle of Man, including Tynwald Day. You can also read 5 Isle of Man Festivals.

Things To Do on the Isle of Man

Looking for ideas for what to do on your Isle of Man holidays, go to Visit Isle of Man website.

Further Information

For any further information on the Isle of Man festival, please click here.

Our thanks to Visit Isle of Man for allowing permission to use the photographs in this article.


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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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