What Is an Irish Wake?

An Irish wake is funeral tradition associated with Ireland; the wake is a send-off for departed loved ones that occurs from the time of death till the body is handed over to the church. The wake is a crucial part of the grieving process.

The wake was traditionally held at the home of the deceased or a close relative, which was referred to as the wake house. The body was typically placed in a coffin in the living room or parlor of the house and then covered in white linen embellished with white or black ribbons. Lighted candles were placed around it. Plenty of food and drink was consumed as people socialized while remembering the departed person’s life.