Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
MAUNSEMAS, n. Also Maunsmas, Mans(e)mass (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Magnusmass, the Feast of St. Magnus, Earl of Orkney (†1115), celebrated annually on 16th April, the anniversary of his death, and also on 13th December, the anniversary of the translation and enshrining of his relics in his cathedral at Kirkwall.
Phr. Muckle Maunsemas night, 16th April (Sh. 1894). [′mɑ:ns(ə)məs]Ork. 1946 M. M. Banks Cal. Customs 49:
Feast of St Magnus or Maunsmas. The festival was observed at this date [16th April] and on Dec. 13th in the Orkneys and in Shetland. Masses and Horae for both days are given in the Aberdeen Breviary and in the Drontheim Missal.Sh.10 1962:
The “Camerlan ” fae Amsterdam Cam on a Maunsemas day On Stoora Stack she brook her back.
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