Christmas in Ireland
is celebrated from December 24th
Feast of Epiphany on January 6th.
This is a Christian holiday that celebrates
the arrival of the
Wise men who brought gifts to
Jesus at his birth.
This celebration is the oldest
of the Catholic church feasts.
January 6th is specifically known as
Perhaps you know of a certain
Christmas song that talks about
the twelve days of Christmas?
The Twelve Days of Christmas
is Ireland’s very own song.
In the old days when it was a crime to be a catholic,
this song was written as a way to help young
Catholic children remember their faith.
The words and pictures would be a
reminder of something
Biblical to the children.
A partridge in a pear tree- Jesus Christ, the son of God
Two turtle doves- Old and New Testaments
Three French hens- Faith, Hope, Charity
Four calling birds- The Four Gospels
Five Golden Rings- The first five books of the Bible
Six geese-a-laying- Six days of creation
Seven swans a swimming- The seven Catholic sacraments
Eight maids a milking- The eight Beatitudes
Nine ladies dancing- nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
Ten lords a leaping- The Ten Commandments
Eleven pipers piping- The eleven faithful apostles
Twelve drummers drumming- twelve points of doctrine
from the Apostle’s Creed
Using this picture, can you
remember all the meanings?
The Irish put a lighted candle in the window
to show that Mary and Joseph would have
been welcome in their home on the
night they needed shelter.
The youngest family member is to light
the candle and the only one who can blow it out
is a girl named ‘Mary’. This is most likely
why there are so many Irish lassies named Mary!
The Irish started the tradition
of hanging a holly wreath on the door.
Holly is a hearty plant that thrives on the
blustery island at Christmas time,
so it was common sense to use this plant for decorating.
Even the poor could decorate well at the holiday time
by using this plant.
These decorations are taken down on
January 6th, or Twelfth Day, and it is
thought to bring bad luck if you take them
down any earlier!
Candy canes are not part of the Irish Christmas.
Instead, and I think very wisely,
TONS OF CHOCOLATE
are a MUST!
Santa Claus is very popular in Ireland
and most people agree that he goes to Ireland before he makes his stop in the United States.
I have watched him on the Santa Tracker and
I know this to be true!
He leaves his packages to the Irish children
a wee bit differently though.
He doesn’t leave presents under the tree, he leaves then in the child’s room, often in pillowcases at the end of their beds.
Almost every family goes to church at midnight on
Christmas Eve, and when they return home,
Santa has already been there!
Here is how you say
Duit (to you)
Sounds like- null-ig hunna ditsh
Can you say it?