Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/289

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265

NOTES.

Devonshire Notes. A paper by Sir John Bowring, on Language, with special reference to the Devonian Dialects, printed in the Trans- actions of the Devonshire Association, vol. i. part 5 (1866), pp. 13-38, contains the following Folklore notes :

" Hobby-horse, by which at Combemartin they are said to com- memorate the tradition of the wild man of the woods," (P. 37.)

" The belief in the Yeth-hounds (headless dogs) being the spirits of unbaptized children was widely spread in North Devon a generation ago. Pixies present a topic very insufficiently explored, as do Galli- trajJSf the mysterious circles, into which any guilty person having trod is doomed to be delivered over to justice." (P. 38.)

T. N. Brushfield, M.D,

Salterton, Devon.

May Day Custom. — Mr. Alexander Mackenzie, of 16, Braidburn Terrace, Edinburgh, remembers that in his boyhood cottages in Strath Nairn (near Inverness) used to be decorated in the interior with birch branches at the end of April; and on the 1st of May (Old Style), which they called Beltane Day, the children used to roll eggs, coloured blue, yellow, etc., down a hill. Does any reader know other cases of rolling eggs on May Day? The custom of rolling eggs on the Saturday before " Peace Sunday " in the N.E. of Scotland is men- tioned by the Rev. Walter Gregor in his Folklore of the North-East of Scotland. The undersigned would be glad to hear of any living superstitious customs or beliefs about parasitic plants, especially the mistletoe. , J. G. Frazer,

Trinity College, Cambridge.