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Amazing 15 Facts About Celebrating Christmas in Ireland

Christmas in Ireland is surely a different vibe altogether. Christmas in Ireland facts include the festivities that start from 8th December and goes till 6th January. Let us check out other facts about Ireland Christmas that will amaze you.

The beautiful country of Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle. The mesmerizing Emerald Isle is located on continental Europe’s western edge. This island nation’s enchanting coastline stretches across the Atlantic Ocean, giving the most spectacular views. Christmas in Ireland has a unique aura altogether. Let us explore what makes Ireland’s Christmas exciting.

Christmas in Ireland is always unique, and this festive period is celebrated in several stunning and unique ways. Have you heard of Christmas swims? Yes, Irish people go for a swim on December 25th morning. From window shopping to online shopping, let us know the intriguing ways of celebrating in the Emerald Isle. Aren’t these facts about Christmas Ireland interesting? So, are you ready to check out more adventure, fun-filled Christmas in Ireland facts?

1. Amazing Facts About Christmas in Ireland

Ireland Christmas is celebrated conventionally, yet the people of Ireland follow their traditions and rituals during this festive season. The Irish Christmas stretches from the Feast of Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8th. The festivities further heighten towards Christmas Eve and then mount to the Feast of Epiphany on January 6th.

Fun facts about Christmas in Ireland include the festivities in homes starting in early December. Christmas in Ireland is all about rollick and rejoice, carol singing, diving into traditional and folk music, crackling fires, decorations, glittering lights, merriment, a customary aura you will find in most conventional Irish pubs. 

Facts about Christmas in Ireland
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The Emerald Isle whoops up in joy during the Christmas festivities. Thousands of people participate in the Christmas swim, the most significant tradition. The Irish Christmas season in Ireland is full of festivities, Christmas shopping, musical celebrations, happy times, and parties wrapped in winter love.

1.1. Kickstarting the Holiday Cheer

As December 8th knocks on the Irish doors, the magnificent landscapes spread a Christmassy fragrance, and the landscapes brim with glittering lights, rejoicing people and markets swell with homelike gatherings. 

The traditional Irish people celebrate the Feast of Immaculate Conception. This day is acknowledged on December 8th and celebrates the welcome of Mother Mary. Facts about Christmas in Ireland are that on this holy day, the Irish people perform parades, mass is held, and there are fireworks and processions in the glory of Mother Mary. The people also put large candles on the most significant windows of their houses after sunset, leaving them burning all night.

1.2. Embellishments and Decoration of Christmas Trees

Years ago, Irish people used to decorate their homes with varied greens. They used evergreen foliage like native holly bushes known to have protective powers as Christmas trees. However, the rational décor and adornments for Christmas trees were initially introduced to Ireland by Queen Victoria. It became widely popular in the later nineteenth century.  

Facts about Christmas in Ireland
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Homes are currently decorated with evergreen trees, considered a modern approach to the traditional décor style when holly and ivy full of berries were used during the festive season to revitalize their homes.

1.3. Caroling in Twilight towards the Christmas Eve

Head towards Dublin’s Grafton Street and immerse yourself in the soulful melodies of Ireland’s well-known musicians. The musicians play the Wexford Carol. Grafton Street has been the nucleus for pop stars and famous musicians in Ireland. The ensemble gathers and sings traditional Christmas carols.

Entitled the world’s most extended Christmas Carol, Wexford Carol is also called the Enniscorthy Carol and reveals the story of Christ’s birth. The Wexford Carol has both Irish and English lyrics. Enniscorthy is a town in the spectacular county of Wexford in Ireland. The melody is trendy in homes and sung throughout the Emerald Isle. 

1.4. Traditional Food during the Christmas Period

Delicious Christmas dinner comprises Brussels sprouts, Brusselsables, and the star dish, roast turkey. These palatable, flavourful dishes accompany plum pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies. However, this feast is incomplete without a traditional Irish dessert with brandy butter.

You will also experience aromatic lanes and the smell of delightful Christmas cakes and Christmas pudding enveloped in rich, dry fruits, nuts, and delectable mince pies from Irish homes. You can visit the local markets over the Emerald Isle’s villages and towns to dive into the most traditional and delicious dishes.

The lanes of Ireland brim with various tasty food choices for people, including butter loaves, cheese sandwiches, and a vast spread of different kinds of cheese along with the traditional foods of Ireland.

Facts about Christmas in Irelnad
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Traditional homes indulge in elaborate and aesthetic preparation for a diverse spread that does not end with lunch and dinner options. One must have hunger pangs; even after an hour of lunch, lunch will be served with ham sandwiches. The assortment of dishes does not just finish with a few dishes. Christmas dinner also includes fish consumed by Irish homes as a form of fasting on Christmas Eve.

1.5. Christmas Markets

The religious holiday of Christmas has immense significance in Irish homes. Irish families start Christmas shopping in Cork, Waterford, Dublin and many other places.

The Irish Christmas cheers at the Belfast Christmas Market start as early as November 18th and stretch to December 22nd.

1.5.1 Belfast Christmas Market

Handcrafted wooden chalets, multi-cuisine food court, family activities, rides, beer tents, and singing carols hold your excitement as you are at the German-style Christmas Market at Belfast’s City Hall. Yes, we are at the Belfast Christmas Market for the Irish Christmas. So, to enjoy these Irish traditions, all you have to do is wear cozy footwear and a penchant for all the flavourful, toothsome savouries. 

Christmas in Ireland: Irish Christmas Traditions

1.6. Christmas Celebrations at Mount Stewart

Located in Northern Ireland, Mount Stewart scintillates with fairy lights, Christmas food, buzzing Christmas markets, and much more from late November. In a garden and house in County Down, friends, families, and relatives gather to celebrate Christmas time in Mount Stewart. Festooned with adornments and decorations, the Big House offers activities for every person who comes here to celebrate Christmas at Mount Stewart.

Around Christmas time, you can experience a garden tour, leisure strolls around the lake, and savour delectable festive treats at the Tea Room inside the County. The Tea Room has savouries like mince pies, hot chocolate, round cake, Christmas pudding and local dishes. They also serve vegan food. At the Mount Stewart Gift shop, you can find gift-giving items like Christmas candles, jugs, and more.

1.7. Midnight Mass

Ireland celebrates Christmas in diverse ways, and celebrations differ amongst families. Yet Irish families return to their abode from far and wide and gather to celebrate Christmas Day.

Christmas celebrations start with friends, acquaintances, and neighbours coming together, gifting gifts, and, subsequently, having midnight mass. You can feel a heightened Christmas spirit in Ireland and watch the telecast of Midnight Mass hosted every Christmas. Later, people rejoiced in the traditional Christmas dinner with family, friends, and relatives.


1.8. Christmas Day Swim

A favourite and admired tradition, the Christmas day swim enlivens the entire coastline of Ireland, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Irish Sea and several lakes and islands. This Christmas tradition unfolds its enticement from the 20th to the 26th of December. But on December 25th, the Christmas-spirited swim witnesses thousands of Irish people enveloped in the Christmas vibe, ready to fling their souls into the cold December waters of Lough Lannagh, Rosses Point, Bundoran, Fenit Beach, Greystones and many more places.

Dublin witnesses’ spectacular views of hundreds of people swimming right from early Christmas morning at Forty Foot in Sandycove. Blackrock in Salthill and Galway are locations where you can find the Irish people following Christmas traditions.

Christmas swimmers enjoy warmer waters throughout the UK and Ireland

1.9. St. Stephen’s Day

St. Stephen’s Day and Boxing Day are celebrated on December 26th, the day after Christmas, in Ireland and the UK. It is a public holiday in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland, it is called St. Stephen’s Day. This day commemorates Saint Stephen, the first Catholic martyr.

Facts about Ireland Christmas incorporate a traditional ritual that the Irish people would follow. In earlier times, on St. Stephen’s Day, the Irish families would carry out processions wearing straw suits and blackened faces to commemorate the Christian Saint Stephen. Saint Stephen was known for his services to people with low incomes. 

1.10. Wren Boys

In the rural areas of Ireland, “Wren Boys,” consisting of people clothed in colourful costumes, went door to door collecting funds to bury the wren. This custom was an integral part of the Irish tradition. This occurred during the mid-20th century.

Later, the tradition of “Wren Boys” parading the streets gradually evolved into processions that involved carolling, singing and dancing to raise funds for charity at Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland. The local food you can grab on this day is roast turkey, a stew made of turkey, vegetables, baked ham, spiced beef, peas pudding, cakes, and pies.

In other countries like the UK and Northern Ireland, Boxing Day is celebrated by Irish people by joining in for horse racing events and football matches.


1.11. Wish Folks Merry Christmas in Irish Way

One of the fun facts about Christmas in Ireland is that the Christmas period bursts with wishes, Nollaig Shona Duit far and wide.

Nollaig Shona Duit means Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas in the Irish language. Daidi Na Nollaig echoes all around the Emerald Isle, which means Santa Claus.

1.12. Lighting Window Candles

Christmas in Ireland is all about the fun-filled celebrations of friends and families. Charismatic aspects of festivities wrapped over Irish traditions make this festive season extremely special. The traditional people of Ireland used to light three candles that represented the Holy Family in many parts of Ireland. Even today, people follow this tradition at home.

1.13. Little Christmas

Ireland Christmas approaches pleasant sunsets; January 6th in the Emerald Isle celebrates “Women Christmas” or Little Christmas. Popularly known as the Feast of Epiphany, people commemorate and honour the women of Ireland. In the Irish language, this day is known as Nollaig na mBan. Nollaig na mBan means Women’s Christmas and marks an end to the Christmas festivities in the region. 

On the occasion of Nollaig na mBan, Irish women have a respite from their household duties and spend the day with their loved ones. The Irish women spend time with their sisters, aunts, friends, and mothers while the house’s men take over her tasks. The Christmassy décoentersde locked doors after the Little Christmas as the people of Ireland believe that taking down the décor before January 6th will bring bad luck.

Modern families utilize this day to stockpile their Christmas decorations rather than engage in merriments. Nevertheless, counties like Cork and Kerry glorify and revel in a smaller celebration on January 6th, classically in contemporary Ireland.

1.14. Traditions To Invite Santa Claus

In ancient times in Ireland, some rituals incorporated keeping mince pie and a Guinness bottle for Santy or Santa Claus.

Santa is also known as Daidi na Nollag in Irish, meaning Daddy of Christmas. This tradition was followed in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It was a notion that this was Santa Claus’s snack, and by offering him these delicacies, he would bring gifts for children to be opened by them on Christmas morning.

Dublin Christmas Lights 4K Walking Tour Ireland 2023

1.15. The Late Late Show

Fun facts about Ireland are in The Late Late Toy Show, which draws our attention. Christmas in Ireland is intrusive of this popular toy show on RTE One. It was first screened in 1975 and has become an integral part of Irish tradition. The show showcases the latest best-selling toys, with children’s toy testers and performers, which parents can give their children.

Summing Up

Christmas in Ireland is all about fun. If you plan to visit Ireland, the best time is undoubtedly Christmas. Whether you are an adventurist, a devout worshipper or a foodie, Ireland has lots and lots to offer you.

You can also explore more places to visit in Ireland during your vacations and indulge in these majestic facts about Christmas in Ireland. You are travelling with families, friends, children or alone. From carolling and dancing to incorporating significant traditional customs in the Christmas vibes, you can rejoice in remarkable ways and create the best memories.

Last Updated on by Milan Maity


  • Ketki Jalan

    My love for writing content on varied subjects is incessant and, I am into writing poetry also. I have won many poetry contests both national and international. My poetries are also a part of 8 recognized anthologies. I love to travel and I am a big foodie. I love nature because of which I can develop varied imagery. Writing is my passion and I can deal with workloads too.

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