on St. Stephen's day goes to the providing of refreshment for the occasion - music, dancing, storytelling etc. take place and a real pleasant night is spent.
St. Brigid's Day is also called Candlemas Day. This feast takes place on 2nd February each year. Mass is offered in the church and there is a large congregation. Everyone in the parish makes an offering of candles for the altar or gives money instead. The blessing of the candles takes place before Mass and every householder is presented with a blessed candle which is carefully kept in the home. A blessed candle is alwaays put in a dying person's hand. The people of my district pay special honour to St. Brigid - "Mary of the Gael".
A great feast among the Irish is the feast of St. Patrick which is held on 17th March each year. The day is a holiday of Obligation in the church and everybody wears the Shamrock. Children wear green badges and ribbons and all honour the Saint who spread the true faith among our forefathers. A feast is made in every house in the district, bands parade the villages and towns and at night a little entertainment of some sort takes place in the neighbourhood.
In former years nearly all marriages took place in Shrove and it was rare to hear of anyone getting married at any other time. Shrove Tuesday is called "Pancake Night" because pancakes are made for the occasion and these and tea are used at the evening meal.
Ash Wednesday is so called from the custom of having holy ashes