Christmas is commemorated worldwide, but each nation has different ways of celebrating it. In basic, Ireland celebrates the date in an extremely similar way to other countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Nevertheless, some traditions are older, influenced by the Celtic individuals who populated the nation prior to the domination of Catholics and English. Others are special to Irish culture, exciting a lot of curiosity in outsiders. Have a look at a few of them:
The 12 Christmas clubs
In the days leading up to Christmas, many young Irish individuals arrange an enjoyable video game that certainly involves alcohol. The rules are easy: check out 12 various pubs in a single night, spending 30 minutes each, wearing a Christmas sweater. It’s like a Christmas bar crawl . Each group can include more guidelines to make the video game more fun (and challenging), such as not consuming with the right-hand man in the very first club, just speaking with complete strangers in the 2nd club, not using the toilet in the third club, etc. Every time you break a guideline, you must drink more.
Candle light in the window
In the past, it was extremely common to put a lighted candle light on the home window during Christmas. The candle invited Maria and José, and likewise signaled to the poor that there was a deal of food in your house, if they wanted to. Nowadays, the practice is decreasing, but it is still possible to see candlelight in some homes.
Swimming in the icy waters
On Christmas Day, it prevails to see hundreds of individuals taking a dip in the icy waters of the Irish coast, wearing nothing more than swimsuit and a Santa Claus cap. Christmas Day Swim started as a fundraiser, however has blown up in appeal with social media– after all, there is no point in dying of cold if it is not to post on Instagram. One of the most popular locations for diving is Forty Foot Rock, in Sandycove, south of Dublin. However beware: the risk of hypothermia is real!
St. Stephen’s Day
The day after Christmas is known as St. Stephen’s Day (St. Stephen’s Day), being a vacation in a number of European countries. In Ireland, the day is likewise known as Wren Day . That’s because, in the old days, it was tradition to hunt a wagon and connect it to a personnel or fork. The hunters then paraded with the dead bird through the city singing songs and requesting contributions from residents. The tradition has actually been passing away over the past couple of decades, however it still takes place in some villages in the interior. Nowadays, no bird is killed, the procession is just symbolic.
The 6th of January marks completion of the Christmas period, being the day on which the three smart males brought gifts to Jesus Christ. In Ireland, the date is booked for ladies, who take the day off to rest while males look after the house. For this reason, the date is called Nollaig na mBan (or “Little Christmas” in Gaelic). As in Brazil, this is likewise the day to remove Christmas decors.
Author: Pedro H. Moschetta
I deal with digital marketing and resided in Europe for two years. I like to write about travel, organization and entertainment, in addition to sharing ideas and advice for Brazilians living abroad.