Customary (at least in my limited observation) among older folk of Irish Catholic heritage (or those of Latino Catholic upbringing) wherein the first swallow of any drink (usually being had outside) is given up to the dearly departed, usually by pouring the first bit on the ground. This occurs frequently at the wake - which is, of course, the post-burial 'celebration' of remembrance, and which generally revolves around shared stories and memories of the recently departed. Similar, often more ritualized, offerings of alcohol or food (either to the spirits of the dead or to protective gods) are essential parts of numerous older religious and folklore traditions- especially ones which incorporate some level of ancestor worship.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.