Christmas in Ireland begins in early December and is often celebrated as a welcome break from the cold. Christmas brings out the best in Ireland and the Irish, from cheerful festivals to wild acts of machismo, pleasant reunions, melodic church celebrations, and weeks of partying.
According to a survey conducted by Kilkenny Design:
- 97% say spending time with family is their top priority over the holiday season
- 96% of those surveyed intend to shop locally
- 40% of people plan to have a ‘normal’ Christmas this year
Christmas is a special holiday in Ireland, rooted in Irish customs and traditions. Spending time with family and friends, especially those you haven’t seen in a long time, is prioritised.
When possible, many Irish expatriates return home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with their families, making it a very busy travel season.
It is also an opportunity to sample some traditional Irish Christmas food and drink, with some feast preparation occuring weeks in advance.
While it rarely snows during the Christmas season in Ireland, this does not influence the festive attitude! Regardless of the weather, Ireland’s festive Christmas celebrations are full of roaring open fireplaces, hot beverages and excellent company!
Religious symbols, lights and large Christmas trees adorn the streets of most villages, towns and cities. These are typically situated in the heart of the community. Cribs are built in churches to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Three Kings.
Check out The Killarney Hotel Collections infographic below, which looks at the most popular Irish Christmas traditions, as well as traditional food and drinks that are a mainstay of every Irish home during the holiday season, and a guide on how to greet each other in the native Irish language (Gaeilge).