The stories told on these pages are from  a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s. 
The children recorded (over&nbsp740,000 handwritten pages) of this material from their parents, grandparents and neighbours.

These are their stories in their own words.

1st April – April Fools Day

SCHOOL: Tóin an tSeanbhaile | ADDRESS: Tonatanvally, Co. Mayo

Proud Irish Heritage- April Fools day in Ireland.
The Cow that caused April Fools Day

The first of April is known to be “All Fools Day”, on that day we make fools of people and we also would play tricks on them. To make a person a proper fool you must make them walk a mile or two, we would be counting the days before it would come for fear anyone would make a fool of us. No one believes what is said on that day.

If it thunders on all Fools’ Day it brings good crops of corn and hay. There is a tradition regarding the first three days of April and the old people call them “Trí Lá na Riabhaighe” in Irish. We call them that name because long ago in the month of March an old black and white cow was left out to die. March did not kill her so April asked the loan of three days from March, the three days were so cold that they killed the old cow and skinned her. April made a fool of March by killing her, that is the way we got “All Fools’ Day.”


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0086, Page 284” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

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