Angela's Ashes Questions and Answers
by Frank McCourt

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In the book Angela's Ashes what are the traditions?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As a devout Roman Catholic, this book remains very close to my heart!  Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes introduces traditions which are both positive and negative in their eventual outcomes in life.

In regard to these positive and negative outcomes, one example is the tradition of a father taking his son for his first pint of beer at the age of 16.  However, often the children have been in the pubs with their fathers or looking for them for in the pubs for several years.  This tradition has negative ramifications on the lifestyles of the families involved due to the high degree of alcoholism.  McCourt quotes his father:

Frankie, this is the pint. This is the staff of life. This is the best thing for nursing mothers and for those who are long weaned.

Another tradition is the learning of Irish dance.  Children are sent to dance classes each week to learn new steps to add to their repertoire.  Frank prefers to skip his dance lessons, spend the money otherwise, and then make up the dance step to show his parents.

Catholic traditions are certainly a major theme in this book.  The tradition of First Confession and First Communion are both described with many of the misunderstandings and comical scenarios that occur when children are interpreting religious and philosophical questions.  As my daughter is about to receive her own First Confession and First Communion in May, I relish reading these humorous accounts!

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iamkaori | Student

In the book Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, the book's traditions are heavily influenced by Irish culture, specifically Irish Catholicism. Examples of such unique traditions include them throwing water in front of the funeral procession.