Bollan bane: A tradition for Tynwald Day

On the National Day of the Isle of Man, people wear bollan bane pinned to their chests at the Tynwald fair, but perhaps few will know where the tradition comes from.

Annie Kissack here explains the link between the plant and the traditional Manx belief in its powers to ward off evil spirit. Of particular concern on the Isle of Man, of course, are "Themselves" (the fairies), who are likely to do you harm if they take a dislike to you. This links to the traditional Manx folktale of the fiddler lost on the hills who overhears the fairies' music...

The telling of the story is followed by a performance of one of the traditional Manx folk tunes called 'Bollan Bane' - perhaps the very tune learnt from Themselves on the Manx hills hundreds of years ago...

For more resources related to bollan bane and Tynwald Day traditions, please visit the relevant part of our Manx Year section: Tynwald Day.