American Wake: Titanic 100th Anniversary
Thursday, November 10th, 2011 | By Katie
Join Tenon Tours on Saturday April 14th in Cobh, Ireland on The Best of Ireland Tour, featuring the Titanic. During the morning This morning we’ll hit on the Titanic Trail and visit the Original buildings, streets and piers associated with the ship. We’ll tour the actual pier from where Titanic passengers departed and visit The Titanic Memorial. At night we’ll enjoy an evening of fare, music and dancing with live Irish Entertainment. Also at this time we’ll participate in an American Wake.
An American Wake was an opportunity for friends and family to pay ﬁnal respects to emigrants that were leaving for America in search of a better life.
Due to the costs of travel, lack of reliable communication and illiteracy of many of the lower classes this was often the last time many of the emigrants would ever have contact with their homeland again. People saw little difference between going to America and going to the grave so unlikely were they to return.
The American Wake typically began at night and were somber gatherings that lasted through the night before one was to leave. Villagers would come and bestow blessings and advice on the traveler and bring what provisions they could afford to send with then.
An American wake was particularly hard on the parents of the emigrant. At dawn their son would depart and even though he was not dead, the parents knew they would never see their child again.