There are so many rabbit holes on the internet designed to lure us in like fish to a hook.
And like many of us who are searchers of family past and present I subscribe to one called Ireland Reaching Out – a free site ( no payment needed) one that you don’t have to be a ‘member of’ to enjoy the content.
Just ‘drop in and read’ – if you are really interested you could join their mailing list – which is how I found this interesting article
After my Granny in Belfast died (1960) and Dad had come back from the funeral it was a little bit quiet in our house. Slowly he started to talk about it and one thing he mentioned and seemed rather happy over puzzled us
Dad said ‘all the houses on both sides of the street had closed their curtains’
We sort of knew it was an old fashioned thing to do with funerals but that was all
Then Mum would often say ‘don’t put your shoes on the table – it’s bad luck’.
We had no idea what would happen but none of us dare put shoes (new or otherwise) on the table😊
That Irish website I referred to up above recently put out a new article.
One where Rituals, Superstitions, Women, Games and the Church all played a part.
The traditional “Merry Wake” represented the core of the funeral customs of the poor. Opposed by the Roman Catholic clergy throughout the nineteenth century, the “Merry Wake” was performed right up to the first half of the twentieth century source
And after reading it guess what I discovered – two little gems that might explain Mum and Dad’s words…..plus much much more
- All curtains in the house would be drawn except for the one nearest the body to allow a clear pathway to heaven
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- Candles were placed at the head and foot of the deceased along with a pair of shoes to aid their travel to the next world
You’ll find it here – The Irish Wake – 5 Facts.
Also if you’re interested, and maybe many of your Irish ancestors migrated to America here’s another article about a different type of wake