Want to wish your friends and family Merry Christmas in Irish this season? Well that’s easy simply tell them “Nollaig Shona Dhuit” pronounced NO-Lihg HO-nuh ghwich and literally translated means Happy Christmas. Today in Ireland, the most commonly used greeting during the holiday season is “Happy Christmas.”
Are you looking for a warm and heartfelt Irish blessing for Christmas? Try this Irish Christmas Blessing.
“The light of the Christmas star to you, The warmth of home and hearth to you, The cheer and good will of friends to you, The hope of a childlike heart to you, The joy of a thousand angels to you, The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.”
In Ireland, fall is the time of the year to make the house ready for the upcoming holiday celebrations. An Irish home is cleaned top to bottom. Special holiday Irish Linens are brought out of storage. Once all is clean it is ready for festive Christmas decorating and a cozy turf fire!
Did you know that “Holly and Holly Wreaths” were Irish traditions too? Yep, that’s right. No Irish home would be complete without the holly. Holly grows wild in Ireland and is used to decorate the entire house. The Celtics believed holly represented life and rebirth. The evergreen leaves symbolized life during a time when all else was bare and the red berries represented the coming of Spring. With the coming of Christianity to Ireland the berries took on a new meaning, new life in Christ. One charming folklore says holly is put out as a kind gesture to tiny fairies who might use it as a hiding place to come in out of the cold. Holly wreaths as a door decoration can be traced to North American Irish immigrating to the US during the Great Potato Famine.
The ancient Celts believed that mistletoe had healing powers. Its powers were so great that its presence encourage a brief truce among enemies. Hence the Victorian era custom of kissing under the mistletoe.
Do you put a candle in the window at Christmas time as part of your decoration? Well, guess what that’s an Irish Christmas tradition too! Candles in the window date back to ancient time’s laws of hospitality towards stronger. To have a light in your window on Christmas Eve to welcome the stranger meant that you were welcoming the Holy Family too. To have no light meant that you shared the guilt of the Innkeeper at Bethlehem who said, “No Room”!
In Ireland they have traditional holiday foods. The Irish Christmas cooking usually starts early with the making of plum pudding, fruit cakes, breads, and spiced beef. A traditional Irish Christmas meal might consist of roasted goose, potatoes, cranberry sauce, vegetables, sausages, puddings, and yummy fruit cakes.
Most of all don’t forget to toast your family and friends on Christmas. Impress your family and firends with a “Wee Bit
O Irish” this holiday season. Try this Irish Christmas Toasts In Gealic, “Nollaig faoi shéan is faoi shonas duit.” It means “A prosperous and happy Christmas to you.”