It is the glue that binds the family and especially the Irish one.
The family that eats together stays together.
And to keep the family together we have as many gatherings as we can.
And food and drink are a central part.
Someone is bound to have a few too many Sherrys and the kids are guaranteed to dismantle the amazing cake that has been slaved over for the last fortnight by Geraldine who has just embarked on cake making crusade after leaving her job in the city.
Then there's the brother or cousin who has a goldfish memory of all the morto stuff, and the granny who lives for the death notices.
They're all here lads.
Get your check list ready.
We asked Fergal D'Arcy show listeners to tell us All The Things You're Guaranteed To See At An Irish Family Gathering and here's what they said:
Getting the Spanish Inquisition if you're single
All the dads eventually being dragged out to play football with the kids.
There's always a child that has 'a face on him'.
The neighbours always seem to drop in for a visit.
We have a little girl too – she’s just 6 months old. But when she was just born, she would be passed around to every single relative in the room!
The neighbours always seem to drop in for a visit. And it'll be awkward or awesome!
There's always one who's plugged into rip.ie 24/7, specialises in recounting particularly tragic deaths just to undo any of the cheer in the room.
One kid is forced to do a bit of Irish dancing for the whole room!!!
A story from your childhood will be unearthed - The brother that remembers all the embarrassing stories and feels the need to let the whole world know. He's got an unending storybook of shame.
There’s always a certain point in the day when the older relatives are dragged out to play a game of football/hurling whatever!!!
The whole gang will be forced to take a group photo! And its usually pretty awkward poses.
You’ll be offered endless cups of tea.
Apple tarts. There’s ALWAYS an apple tart at every family event. And you have to have a slice because “your Aunty Mary made that especially”.