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Celebrating Christmas The Irish Way At Home

December 16, 2020
There's no Christmas quite like an Irish Christmas. You've heard of the 'Irish Coffee,' right? Well, take that idea and incorporate it into celebrating the holidays and you've got yourself quite the celebration! There's just something about the way the Irish celebrate Christmas that's so special, fulfilling, and will ultimately bring you joy. Unfortunately, traveling to Ireland, or to any country for that matter, isn't the best idea right now as the world still struggles with a global pandemic. but that shouldn't stop you from celebrating Christmas the Irish way. Especially since many of their traditions are easy to do at home!
Celebrating Christmas The Irish Way At Home


Lighting A Candle Outside Your Home

One of Ireland's more unique Christmas traditions is to light up a red candle outside of the home. Though, as a Roman Catholic nation, they still put out the Advent Wreath and light the four candles on it every Sunday mass, this lone red candle also has special meaning for the season. The red candle, especially when placed outside the home symbolized warmth and shelter. It's somewhat a form of gratitude that they're able to have a warm place to stay during the holidays, which is often one of the colder seasons in the year.
Celebrating Christmas The Irish Way At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Decorating A Christmas Tree

Lighting a candle is good and all, but that's not the only way the Irish brighten their places up for the holidays. Another is, of course, decorating a Christmas tree. December 8th, the Day of the Immaculate Conception—also one of the last remaining obligatory holidays in Ireland—is often the day the Irish start preparing for Christmas. This is also the time where families would go out and buy their Christmas trees to decorate at home. The fun of putting the lights up, putting one ornament after another, and ultimately placing a star atop the tree is a family tradition most of the Irish share.
Celebrating Christmas The Irish Way At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Singing Christmas Carols

While the Irish don't seem like the sort to sing their hearts out, they do enjoy singing Christmas carols during the holidays. For many, they even deem it as bad manners not to join in the musical fun. But don't expect them to sing the famous American songs like 'Jingle Bells' or 'Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer.' The Irish have their own Christmas carols they traditionally sing with the entire family. And they're more about the actual birth of Christ than some mythical creatures and whatnot. One of the classics, 'The Wexford Carol,' is one of the country's oldest songs and a hymn often sung during this time.
Celebrating Christmas The Irish Way At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


More Meanings for The Mistletoe

For a lot of other countries—mostly Western such as France, Canada, the US, and more—the mistletoe is a famous Christmas decoration for one reason: an excuse to kiss someone. Be it your partner, friend, or family, it's a tradition that once two people stand under the mistletoe, they have to kiss. But in Ireland, the significance of the mistletoe goes beyond a smooch. Many Irish homes hang mistletoe particularly on their front doors as a sign of peace and goodwill. The ancient Celts also believed that the holiday plant had healing properties and often used it for medicinal purposes.
Celebrating Christmas The Irish Way At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Celebrating St. Stephen’s Day Afterward

Here in Ireland, the holiday celebrations don't stop by the time December 25 ends. In fact, right on the very next day, the Irish celebrate another holiday—St. Stephen's Day. Venerated and remembered as the first-ever martyr for Christianity, St. Stephen holds a very special place in Ireland, one of the more robust Catholic countries in this region. While the UK celebrates Boxing Day on December 26, the Irish have a more religious and solemn observance for this day. They hear mass, attend special prayer services, and, of course, spend time with family and friends. Though shopping is also done, it's not as important as with the country's English neighbor!
Celebrating Christmas The Irish Way At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Letting Women Rest on January 6

And finally, a tradition most women would likely appreciate! For many in the Catholic world, January 6 is celebrated as 'Epiphany Day.' Or the 'Day of The Three Kings.' Ireland is no exception. The kids especially like this holiday because this means they'll get more goodies from the 'Three Wise Men' who left some in their Christmas stockings. But January 6 is also a special day for Irish women. The custom is that on this day, women get to rest, sleep in, and not do anything at all as the men do all the housework, especially taking down the decorations. Failure to do so means bad luck!
Celebrating Christmas The Irish Way At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Just because you're not Ireland for the holiday season doesn't mean you can't have an Irish Christmas. The country has a handful of traditions that you can easily do with your family and friends for the holidays right there in your own home!

Already in Ireland for the holidays? Don't you worry! The country has plenty of luxury rentals you can call home for the season!




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