Where Getting Drunk is Considered a Funeral Celebration
What is a wake?
Legends and Folklore
Some storybooks say the “Wake” was originally used as an ancient Jewish custom. As it traveled to Ireland another legend was made (which is almost certainly a myth.) It is said that the tradition of the wake in Ireland came about as a result of the frequent lead poisoning suffered by drinkers of stout from pewter tankards. A symptom of this malaise is a catatonic state resembling death, from which the sufferer may recover after a period of time. For fear of the dead walking again, family members would keep the body and watch it. When (if) they woke up they would ask them questions and keep them under quarantine until the family knew they were not evil spirits. Another reason for keeping the body was that so family members would be there and celebrate when their loved ones returned from their sleep.
So what about the drinking?
Funerals for Irish people are basically their excuse to party hardy. They want to celebrate the dead person's life as much as possible, and what better way to do it then whiskey for all present? Wakes tend to last about a week, and every day is a different celebration. Those Irish....haha :D