For many people, incorporating Irish heritage into the holidays is second nature. Oftentimes, families have their own special traditions that may have originated in Ireland or been inspired by Irish customs. However, if you’re looking to start an Irish Christmas tradition that can be celebrated and looked forward to each year, try one of these three suggestions.
1. Place Glowing Candles in Your Windows
While Mary and Joseph were unable to find a room in Bethlehem, the candles that burn in the windows of the Irish signal that all are welcome—at any time. Whether you use real or battery-powered candles, this is a simple way to honor a long-established tradition that still has great meaning today.
2. Add Plum Pudding to the Menu
Christmas Pudding, as this dish is often referred to, is so-called because it is primarily served just once a year. The rich dessert has been a century-long favorite. Perhaps so many have fond memories of this dessert because it is most often doused in alcohol—usually rum or brandy—and then set aflame for a brief moment before it is served.
3. Celebrate Little Christmas
January 6 is known as “Little Christmas” in Ireland. The name comes from the Julian calendar, under which the birth of Jesus was celebrated in January. The Twelve Days of Christmas commence on Christmas Day in Ireland and end on January 5. Thus, the sixth is the day when the Irish remove their holiday décor and reset their home for the next year and season. It has been said that it is bad luck to take down the tree and stockings before this day.
In modern times, this day has gained popularity because in many regions of Ireland it is also referred to as Little Women’s Christmas. On this day, men take over the housework and women, who are happy to have a rest following the holiday season, go to parties or get-togethers with their friends.
What are your favorite Irish holiday traditions? Share them with us in the comments section.