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Museum of Country Life Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

At the Museum Feb/Mar
By Maeve McNicholas
24, Feb 2017 - 12:34

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Shrove Tuesday traditions

Forget Valentine's Day. In times gone by, Shrove Tuesday - or Pancake Tuesday as it is often called today - was the real festival of romance.

Learn more about the many interesting Lenten customs of our ancestors in the ‘Life in the Community' exhibition gallery at the Museum of Country Life.

Audio and visual displays and objects tell how the eve of the beginning of Lent - which falls this year on February 28 - was the most favourable date to marry for our ancestors as weddings were not permitted during the season of abstinence. Romance then turned to pranks just a few days later on the first Sunday of Lent, known as ‘Chalk Sunday'. Local children would chase those who were still unmarried after the wedding blitz, and draw a chalk ‘X' on their backs, ensuring their single status was visible to all after Mass!

Get up close to the lives and traditions of our ancestors through Ireland's National Folklife Collection at the Museum of Country Life.

Spring knitting

Enjoy a crafty morning of creativity this spring at the museum's monthly meeting of the knitting and crochet circle.

The group meet to exchange ideas and tips. It is ideal for anyone who would like to learn a new skill as well as knitting and crochet enthusiasts who want to enjoy a social morning with some fellow crafters.

The next meeting of the knitting and crochet circle is on Friday, March 3, from 11am to 1pm.

Family history research

Anyone with an interest in researching their family tree is invited to come along to the next meeting of the Mayo Genealogy Group from 11.30am to 1pm on Saturday, March 11.

Get some free practical tips on genealogy research. No booking required and new researchers are welcome.

World Storytelling Day

World Storytelling Day falls this year on March 20 and the Museum of Country Life is delighted to announce that renowned storyteller, Rab C Fulton, will be at the museum on Saturday, March 18, for two storytelling sessions about St. Patrick.

The first performance on the day is from 11.30am to 12.30pm, for children aged four to seven. The second session, from 2pm to 3pm, is suitable for adults and children aged seven plus. These events are free but booking is required as numbers are limited. Telephone (094) 90 31751 or email

Museum opening hours

The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 2 to 3pm. Brambles Café in the courtyard is open during museum opening hours with extended opening on Sundays from 12noon.

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