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Thursday 10 March 2005

Time: 11am to 2pm

Venue: Ulster American Folk Park

Description of Event:

St Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world, thanks to emigrants from Ireland. In many places it is not just a day for the Irish and their descendants but one for the whole community. Staff of the Centre for Migration Studies and the Ulster American Folk Park at Omagh in County Tyrone invite people to attend a short presentation on how the celebration of St Patrick's Day in Ireland and around the world has developed over the years. It will be followed by discussion and in particular we hope that this event will provide an opportunity to explore how recent immigrants to Ireland feel about the way St Patrick's Day is celebrated here in comparison with other countries and the way they celebrate their National Days. Museum staff will also re-enact elements of The American or Living Wake of the mid 19th century. This ritual was a time when emigrants bade a sad farewell to family and friends by attending a farewell gathering in recognition of the fact that more than likely they would never again return to their homeland.

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