Christmas Traditions in Ireland


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Christmas Traditions in Ireland

  1. 1. Christmas Traditions in Ireland
  2. 2. Advent starts on the 1st Sunday of December ∗ This is an Advent wreath. A candle is lit for each of the four Sundays in Advent. The final candle in the middle, which represents Christ, is lit on Christmas Day.
  3. 3. Our Classroom Advent Calendar ∗ We have an Advent Calendar in our classroom. We open a window every day. There are 25 windows with a lovely chocolate behind each one!
  4. 4. December 8th Traditionally, the Christmas season starts on December 8 th. This is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Schools were once closed on this day but now they remain open. Towns and cities are lit up with Christmas lights. Decorations are traditionally put up now. Shops are very busy and Santa Claus appears in many shopping centres!
  5. 5. In Ireland, people light candles in the windows of their house on Christmas Eve. This is a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph who were looking for shelter on Christmas Eve.
  6. 6. Christmas Decorations Manger/Crib
  7. 7. Holly Wreaths
  8. 8. People attend midnight mass Christmas Eve or mass Christmas morning. Church Crib
  9. 9. Santa Claus comes on Christmas Eve. Presents are placed under the Christmas tree or in stockings hanging by the fireplace. The presents are opened Christmas morning.
  10. 10. Christmas Day Dinner All the family comes together for dinner on Christmas day. This can consist of turkey and ham, spiced beef or a goose with roast potatoes, stuffing and vegetables like brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce.
  11. 11. Desserts Christmas Cake – A fruit cake with marzipan and icing. Plum Pudding, served with custard or brandy butter
  12. 12. More desserts! Mince Pies – Pastry with a fruity filling. Trifle – Jelly, fruit, custard, sponge, cream and sometimes sherry or brandy.
  13. 13. December 26th St. Stephen’s Day or the ‘Wren’s Day’ – Lá an Dreoilín There is a tradition in some parts of the country to celebrate the Wren’s Day by hunting the wren, a tiny bird. According to the legend there was once a plot in a village against the local ruling British soldiers. They were surrounded and were about to be ambushed when a group of wrens pecked on their drums and awakened the soldiers. The plot failed and the wren became known as 'The Devil's bird'. After hunting the wren the dead bird was carried around the town on a pole decorated with ribbons, wreaths and flowers. Nowadays, a wren is not killed. People dress up in straw suits and masks and play music and dance in the streets!
  14. 14. In Co. Kerry, in the SouthWest of the country, the focal point of the Wrenboys’ parade is a hobby horse. This timber horse is worn on the shoulders of one of the members of the Wren – at the head of the parade. The horse, for social and military reasons, was of great importance in ancient Ireland.
  15. 15. January 6th – The Epiphany ∗ Three candles are placed in windows to represent the three Kings who visited the newborn baby Jesus. ∗ January 6th is traditionally considered the end of the Christmas season. Decorations are taken down now. It is considered bad luck to take them down before this date!
  16. 16. • January 6th is also known as Little Christmas Women’s Christmas (Nollaig na mBan). or • There is a tradition in the south of the country for the men to carry out the household duties for the day and the women to go out and celebrate together after their hard work over the Christmas period.
  17. 17. Nollaig Shona Duit! (Noll-ig Hun-a Dhit)