Christmas in Ireland

How do I wish someone there a Happy Christmas?

  • Happy Christmas or Nollaig Shona Duit

When do they give presents?

  • Christmas Day

Who brings the presents?

  • Santa or Santy

What’s on the menu?

  • Turkey and all the trimmings, although more traditional roasted or spiced beef is still popular.

Any other traditions I should know about?

  • The Christmas season officially begins in Ireland on December 8. This is said to be the date of the Immaculate Conception.
  • On Christmas Eve many people go to Midnight Mass at their local church. People also often leave a lit candle in their window to symbolise hospitality. It was traditionally there to help light the way for travellers.
  • Christmas Day swims are popular in Ireland, with brave souls plunging into the water all around the coastline.
  • The day after Christmas is called St Stephen’s Day. In some places you can still see the traditional Wren Boys. They parade the streets singing and collecting money for charity while brandishing an effigy of a wren. It’s known as the ‘devil’s bird’ for its role in showing soldiers the hiding place of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.