Ó Súilleabháin, Seán  

Irish Wake Amusements


A classic work on the fascinating subject of traditional wakes in Ireland.

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First published in Irish in 1961 and in English in 1967, this classic work has never been superseded as a treatment of the fascinating subject of traditional wakes in Ireland. As well as eating, drinking, smoking a pipe and taking snuff, many other forms of entertainment were common in Irish wakes, to pass the long hours of the night or two nights of the wake. These included storytelling, singing, dancing, music, card-playing, riddling and rhyming, and feats of agility and strength both inside the wake-house and in an adjoining field before the funeral started next day. Seán Ó Súilleabháin also shows that Ireland, far from being different from other countries, was part of the general European (and world) pattern in holding prolonged and merry wakes.

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