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Living in Ireland

Christmas in Ireland

After living in Ireland for quite some time we still get pleasantly surprised when this holiday comes. Before we came to Ireland we knew that Christmas was the most important religious holiday for Catholics and Protestants, but we had no idea just how important.

As children we never felt the type of Christmas spirit that is felt in Ireland during the Christmas holidays since in Russia, Christmas only began being actively celebrated around 20 years ago. But in Ireland, not only did the tradition go uninterrupted for hundred’s of years it was also passed down from generation to generation.

Christmas in Dublin

The Christmas spirit can already be felt in towns and virtually all over Ireland, during the end of November, when the Christmas sales begin and people light up their Christmas trees.

During this time in December all the shops start working at a more speeded pace because one of the main attributes of the Christmas holidays is giving presents. Presents are given not only to children and close relatives but also to friends, teachers, work colleagues and even to some of your neighbours.

There is even a special form of giving presents when it comes to Christmas – it’s called ‘Secret Santa’. The point of giving presents in this way is that a week or two before the Christmas holidays a group of people randomly get a person from the group who they will have to buy a present for but the person receiving the present may not ever know who they got the present from.

Everyone brings their presents before the day when the presents will be handed out, making sure that they write who their present is for and there is usually a party on the day when the presents are given out.

Usually, the tradition of giving presents costs a lot of money. Sometimes people even take out credit from banks to get presents for everyone that they want to get presents for. But the most important ceremony of the Christmas holidays takes place on the night before Christmas. Christmas is above all a religious festival, so the celebration starts in a church, where a Christmas ceremony takes place.

After coming back from the church everyone celebrates the start of Christmas before going to bed. This is the most magical night of the year, especially for children, who know that the next day they will find presents under the Christmas tree.

Christmas in Ireland

The children believe that Santa Clause comes to their house at night, goes down the chimney and brings them presents. Our youngest son was also very hyper on this night and going to bed he asked us to remove the mesh grate that covers our fireplace.

In the morning the celebration of Christmas finally begins. The feelings that you experience during this celebration are hard to describe! On the streets of towns and cities you will not see a single person. You also won’t see any trains or busses and trying to hire a taxi will prove to be fairly difficult. Even planes don’t usually fly on this day.

Everyone gathers round the table, where you can find Christmas pudding and an amazing Christmas dinner consisting of roast turkey, ham, boiled vegetables and a little bit of alcohol.


The great thing about Christmas is that it isn’t just a humongous feast but a time when you can bond with your family and that is what Christmas is all about. Lots of people have to travel great distances to be with their family for Christmas.

We know of people who left Australia and Canada for a couple of days to be with their family for Christmas

Christmas becomes even more festive when it starts snowing like it did in Ireland two years ago. But knowing the strange Irish weather it may be a long time before it snows in Ireland again.

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