Reek Sunday in Ireland Date in the current year: July 31, 2016

Reek Sunday in Ireland Reek Sunday, also known as Garland Sunday, is an annual day of pilgrimage in Ireland that occurs on the last Sunday in July. On this day, pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick, a mountain in County Mayo associated with Saint Patrick.

The name “Croagh Patrick” means “Patrick's stacks”. Before the introduction of Christianity, the mountain had been a site of pagan pilgrimage. It was originally known as Cruachán Aigle, this name is mentioned in a number of early Irish texts.

According to legend, Saint Patrick climbed this mountain and fasted on its summit for forty days of Lent. Since then, Croagh Patrick has been drawing thousands of pilgrims who want to honor the primary patron saint of Ireland.

A total of 100,000 pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick every year, between 15,000 and 30,000 of them make their pilgrimage on Reek Sunday. The day of pilgrimage was named Reek Sunday because Croagh Patrick is nicknamed the Reek. The Reek Sunday climbing is traditionally led by the Archbishop of Tuam.

It takes about two hours to climb and an hour and a half to descend, although the exact time depends on weather conditions. Reek Sunday is one of the busiest days of the year for local rescue teams, as injuries occur every year.

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Reek Sunday, religious holiday, Garland Sunday, holidays in Ireland, Saint Patrick, Croagh Patrick