Ireland is a wonderful nation, rich with ancient Irish customs and mythology that have been passed down through generations. When it comes to Christmas in Ireland, it is a particularly beautiful time of year. As a result, many Irish Christmas traditions are now included in the Christmas celebrations of many other countries, and some have even found their way into mainstream American Christmas rituals.
In Ireland, the Irish people say "Nollaig Shona Duit" pronounced NO-Lihg HO-nuh ghwich. This Irish Christmas greeting literally translates to Happy Christmas.
The December 8th Christmas Tradition
In Ireland, the 8th of December is a very important day. It is on this day that two Irish Christmas traditions come to an end, both of which are still alive and well in Ireland. The first of them is the decorating of the Christmas tree. When it comes to decorating your home, children in Ireland have grown to believe that December 8th is the day when you are officially 'allowed' to begin. In fact, some people put their Christmas tree up much earlier than this, but it's not until December 8th that you start to see the trees blazing brightly out of the windows of houses all around Ireland.
The second custom related to the 8th of December is the act of shopping. On this day, people from all across the country come to Dublin to conduct their Christmas shopping.
What exactly is Christmas plum pudding in Ireland?
The Christmas plum pudding is a popular Irish Christmas custom that has endured for generations. The lowly roots of the traditional Irish Christmas plum pudding are well documented. To begin with, it was a porridge that was seasoned with leftover meat or fish scraps, thickened with bread crumbs, and then tied together with eggs, fruit, and spices. Dried prunes were added to the pudding mixture during the Tudor and Stuart eras in England, resulting in what became known as a plum porridge as a result. Plum pudding was eventually coined, and it was often served with Brandy Butter Sauce as an accompaniment.
An additional extremely widespread Christmas tradition in Ireland is the creation of a candle window. It is still customary to place a lit candle in the window of a home on Christmas Eve, and this practice has evolved into a popular American Christmas tradition as well. A variety of functions are served by the candle in the window. When Mary and Joseph were on their way to find refuge, one of its principal meanings was to serve as a welcome sign for them. During the criminal period, when Catholic masses were not permitted, the flame also served as a safe haven for Catholic priests to conduct their services safely. One of the traditions is that the light should be lit by the youngest member of the family and should only be extinguished by a girl with the given name Mary, according to another custom.
On Christmas Eve, Christians assemble for a ceremony known as midnight mass, which is a long-standing custom. Depending on whether the church is Roman Catholic or Protestant, the service will usually begin immediately before midnight or a little later. Some churches have also begun their services a few minutes earlier to make it simpler for families with small children to travel home after church.
Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is also quite popular, and it is often accompanied by a choir, as well as a Manger and a Nativity scene in the Church.
The practice of swimming on Christmas Day is practiced in specific locations in Ireland, with the most well-known location being the 'Forty Foot' little beach in South Dublin.
What is the date of the Feast of St. Stephen and the Procession of the Wren Boys?
It is customary in Ireland to accompany the Feast Day of St. Stephen's with the Wren Boy Procession on the day of the feast. Saint Stephen's Day, which is commemorated on December 26th and is also known as the Day of the Wren, is a national holiday in Ireland and is observed as such.
When Penal times were in effect, there was a plan against the local troops that occurred in a hamlet. The troops were encircled and on the verge of being attacked when a swarm of wrens pecked on their drums, causing them to become aware of their surroundings and react in time to protect themselves. As a result of this failure, the wren came to be known as the "Devil's Bird."
On Saint Stephen's Day, a procession takes place in which a pole with a holly bush is carried from home to house and families dress up in ancient clothing with blackened faces to take part in the festivities. The pole used to be topped with a dead wren bird, which was formerly used as a totem. This habit has mostly died out, but the tradition of going from home to house on St. Stephen's Day has persisted and continues to be a significant component of the Irish Christmas celebrations to the present day.
The Feast of the Three Kings (also known as the Epiphany) and the Women's Christmas
In closing, but certainly not least, "Women's Christmas" is a wonderful Irish Christmas custom that hasn't found its way over to the United States.
The Feast of the Epiphany, which takes place on January 6th, is historically the day on which the Irish conclude their Christmas celebrations. It is also referred to as "Nollaigh na mBean" (Women's Christmas) in Irish and "Women's Christmas" in English. According to tradition, women are given the day off, while the males of the family are assigned the tasks of cleaning, cooking, and taking down the Christmas decorations. Women get together for a day of pampering and pampering themselves. Have you ever participated in a "Women's Christmas" celebration?