Dec 18, 2009

More Irish Christmas Traditions

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin
photo via creative commons by Michael Foley
You can find all kinds of Irish Christmas decorations now. I found an Irish Christmas angel ornament at a local department store. But the truth is, America decorates in a much more lavish manner than other countries do. Actually, that might not be a surprise to you if you've noticed, like I have, the explosion of lawn ornaments and lights in your neighborhood.

In Ireland it's traditional to put a lit candle (one) in a window to welcome the holy family. Here are some more traditions from Holidays Kaboose.

In many areas, on Christmas Eve, a lit candle is placed in a window (nowadays it can be an electric light!). This goes back to traditions of hospitality in ancient times. The idea is to help light the way of the Holy Family or any other poor traveller who is out on that night. There can be a White Christmas, but snowfalls are rarely heavy. As in many countries, it is very important for family members to be together for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
People often have Christmas dinner in the afternoon, any time between 1 and 3 p.m.. As a child, I remember being served more than one 'fowl' for Christmas dinner - usually a goose and sometimes chicken, duck or pheasant as well, along with stuffing, roast potatoes and gravy. Now turkey is much more common along with a ham, and sometimes spiced beef. Dessert is Christmas pudding with rum sauce or brandy butter and cream. Sometimes a trifle is served as well! Christmas Crackers are on the table, and everyone pulls one with the person next to them. Whoever ends up with the longer end gets the contents, which include a party hat, a small toy and a riddle.
I think the important thing with traditions is that you have them. You can start new ones that your children and grandchildren will cherish. What is your favorite tradition?

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