As I mentioned in my last post one of my favourite things about Christmas is carrying out traditions with your family. There’s lots of traditions in Ireland, some I didn’t even realise were, and today I want to tell you about some Irish traditions.
1. Candle in the window – In the past this was used to signal to Mary and Joseph that they are welcome in our home at this time of year. Now it’s used to remember all of the emigrents that left Ireland and to show them their way home.
2. The 8th of December – This is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. People usually put up their Christmas decorations on this date. It’s also the day that families go to the cities in Ireland to do their Christmas Shopping. In recent years this has changed due to online shopping and easy access to the cities all year round.
3. Christmas Decorations – Decorations are traditionally put up on the 8th of December and taken down around little Christmas, January 6th.
4. Christmas Dinner – Dinner is usually is served at lunch time. It consists of turkey, ham, vegetables, potatoes and gravey. For desert Christmas pudding and a trifle are the two traditional deserts.
5. Midnight Mass – In the past adults used to go to Christmas mass after a good night in the pub on Christmas Eve. This became inconvenient for families with small children so now midnight mass can now be on as early as 7pm. I think my local church has it around 8 or 9pm.
6. USA boxes of biscuits – It’s not Christmas without reveiving a box of biscuits from a relative for Christmas. There’s usually two layers of biscuits in each tin and you must obey one rule. Don’t move onto the second layer if the first isn’t finished.
7. The pub – I honestly think the pubs clean out our bank accounts around Christmas. First up is the 12 pubs. I think this is more popular in Ireland. Basically what you attempt to do is drink an alcoholic beverage of your choice in 12 different pubs through out the night. Most people fail at this of course. Secondly going to the pub on Christmas Eve with some relatives or friends for a ‘quite one’. There’s nothing like it.
8. Women’s Christmas – January 6th is the last day for celebrating Christmas in Ireland. This day is also known an Women’s Christmas or Nollaig na mBean in Irish. This is a day where ladies will meet up, plan events and have a night out together.
See you tomorrow.