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An Aonach was an ancient Irish public national assembly called upon the death of a king, queen, notable sage or warrior as part of ancestor worship practices.

The Aonach had three functions; honoring the dead, proclaiming laws, and funeral games and festivities to entertain. The first function took between one and three days depending on the importance of the deceased, guests would sing mourning chants called the Guba after which druids would improvise songs in memory of the dead called a Cepóg. The dead would then be burnt on a funeral pyre. The second function would then be carried out by the Ollamh Érenn, giving out laws to the people via bards and druids and culminating in the igniting of another massive fire. The custom of rejoicing after a funeral was then enshrined in the Cuiteach Fuait, games of mental and physical ability accompanied by a large market for traders. Éamon de Valera tried to revive an Aonach called the Aonach Tailteann, others included the Aonach Carman in Wexford and Aonach Colmain in Kildare.

Usage examples of "aonach".

And going forward, he arrived at a place which was called Aonach Tailltion, and there he made ready to refresh himself and his people, and to announce the office of his ministry.

Like every other visitation room in Aonach Sanitarium--and Simon knew them all--this one was painfully bare, with narrow windows set high in the walls.