Irish Christmas Traditions

irish christmas traditions

Ireland is a magical country, filled with tradition and folklore dating back many years. Christmas in Ireland is an especially magical time of year. Many Irish Christmas traditions have become part of the Christmas celebration of many nationalities and have made their way into main stream American Christmas customs.

In Ireland people say “Nollaig Shona Duit” pronounced NO-Lihg HO-nuh ghwich. This Irish Christmas greeting literally translates to Happy Christmas.

One beloved Irish Christmas tradition is that of the Christmas plum pudding. The traditional Irish Christmas plum pudding has had humble beginnings. Plum pudding was originally a porridge flavored with scraps of leftover meat or fish, thickened with bread crumbs and bound together with eggs, fruit and spices. During the Tudor and Stuart period in England, dried prunes were added to the pudding mixture which became known as a plum porridge. Eventually becoming called plum pudding and often eaten with Brandy Butter Sauce.

Another very common Christmas custom in Ireland is the candle window. The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is still practiced today and has become an American Christmas tradition as well. The candle in the window has a number of purposes. One of its primary meanings is as a welcoming symbol to Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter. The candle also indicated a safe place for Catholic priests to perform mass during the penal times when Catholic masses were not allowed. Another part of the tradition is the candle should be lit by the youngest member of the family and should only be extinguished by a girl bearing the name Mary.

In Ireland celebrating the Feast Day of St. Stephen’s is usually accompanied with the Wren Boy Procession. Saint Stephen’s Day celebrated on December 26th, also know as the Day of the Wren is a national holiday in Ireland.

During Penal times there was a plot in a village against the local soldiers. The soldiers were surrounded and about to be ambushed when a flock of wrens pecked on their drums and awakened them in time to defend themselves. The plot failed and the wren became known as the “Devil’s Bird”.

On Saint Stephen’s Day a procession takes place where pole with a holly bush is carried from house to house and families dress up in old clothes with blackened faces. In olden days an actual wren bird was killed and placed on the pole. This custom has largely disappeared but the tradition of visiting from house to house on St. Stephen’s has survived and is a large part of the Irish Christmas celebration today.

Last but not least a fabulous Irish Christmas tradition that hasn’t made its way to the states is called “Women’s Christmas”. In Ireland on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, is when traditionally the Irish finish celebrating Christmas. It is also known as “Nollaigh na mBean” in Irish or “Women’s Christmas”. Tradition has it that women get the day off and the men of the house get to do the housework, cooking and take down the Christmas decorations. Women meet up to go have a day out and treat themselves. Have you ever celebrated “Women’s Christmas”?

The Irish Jewelry Company- “Carrying on Irish Tradition on gift at a time.”
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via Irish Christmas Traditions and Customs.

Christmas Gift Delivery Shipping & Delivery for 2015

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Christmas Gift Delivery, by Christmas Eve Dec 24th 2015

2015 Christmas Shipping (Recommended Cut-Off Dates)

Standard International Shipping: Order by Dec. 11th.

UPS Ground/Flat Rate Shipping: (East Coast) Order by Monday, Dec. 21st by 10am Est for delivery on or about Dec. 24th. (this is not guaranteed)

(West Coast) Order by Friday, Dec. 18th by 10am Est for delivery on or about Dec. 24th. (this is not guaranteed)

UPS 3Day Select Shipping: Order by Monday Dec. 21st by 10am Est for delivery on Dec. 24th anytime time up until 9pm. (Guaranteed Delivery)

UPS 2Day Shipping: Order by Tuesday Dec. 22nd by 10am Est for delivery on Dec 24th anytime time up until 9pm. (Guaranteed Delivery)

UPS Next Day Shipping:  Order by Wdnesday Dec. 23rd by 11:30am Est for delivery on Dec. 24th anytime time up until 9pm. (Guaranteed Delivery)

Important Holiday Shipping Dates and Information:

Thanksgiving, Nov. 26th 2015 (IJC Customer service is unavailable we are CLOSED)

Black Friday, Nov. 27th2015 (IJC Customer service is unavailable we are CLOSED)

Small Buisness Saturday, Nov. 28th 2015

Cyber Monday, Nov. 29th 2015

Christmas Eve, Thursday Dec 24th 2015

  • Normal delivery of air, international and ground shipments.
  • Pickup service available for air and international shipments if prearranged by Tuesday, Dec. 23. UPS On-Call Pickup service and UPS Drop Boxes are available to all customers for air and international shipments.* No UPS Ground, UPS Standard or 3 Day Select pickups until Friday, Dec. 26.

Christmas Day, Friday Dec. 25th 2015

No UPS pickup or delivery service. (IJC Customer service is unavailable we are CLOSED)

New Years Eve & News Years Day 2016

No UPS pickup or delivery service. (IJC Customer service is unavailable we are CLOSED)

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The Dullahan – The Irish Headless Horseman

The Irish legend of the Dullahan, or English translation “dark man” is unnerving. The Headless Horseman or Dullahan is the Irishdullahan the irish jewelry company foreteller of death. The Dullahan rides a jet black horse with flames shooting from its eyes, carrying his head under one arm. Irish folklore says that when he stops riding, a human dies.


There are many versions of this scary tale. Some say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while other say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die.
But as with most evil entities the Dullahan has a weakness. The Dullahan can not stand the sight of GOLD. So you would be wise when traveling on this Halloween to carry a wee bit of in case you have a run-in with this headless horror!

Irish Fairies and Anti Fairy Measures

In Ireland there are fairies, good natured and there are FAIRIES. If you’ve ever traveled at night on the winding Irish back roads in the countryside of Ireland you would know it is a kind of eerie darkness that puts fear in your very heart. One can easily imagine something moving over the moors or hearing the forlorn screech of a dammed fairy.

celtic fairyAs a child in Ireland you are warned to not play inside a fairy fort because the fairies don’t like it and might curse you or worse they might fancy you. Fairy forts are mounds or hills found all over Ireland. They are the ruins of circular mound dwellings in which people lived during the Iron Age such as Newgrange.

‘Away with the fairies’ is an old Irish expression referring to someone whose mind is elsewhere. It originated with the belief in the folklore that mischievous fairies steal souls and carry children off to the underworld, leaving changelings in their place.
A Changeling is a creature thought to be the offspring of a fairy that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. It is thought that fairies often fancy mortals and steal their pretty children. They carry the babies away leaving behind a Changeling, an ailing fairy child, or a log of wood so bewitched that they seems to be a mortal pining away in bewilderment.
They say if you wear your clothing inside out or wear bells you can ward off the malevolent fairies.

Anti-Fairy Measures for Halloween:12047118_10156157606690245_1081658573287531121_n

There is an old Irish folklore that warns of fairies and goblins that try to collect as many souls as they can at Halloween. Folklore says if you through the dust from under your feet at the Fairy then they would be obliged to release any souls that they held captive.

Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century Pirate Queen of Ireland…

In-honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day….

Grace O’Malley was born in Ireland in around 1530. She was the daughter of Owen O’Malley. O’malley was a wealthy nobleman and sea trader. WhenO’Malley died Grace inherited his large shipping and trading business. Grace O’Malley commanded a dozen ships and thousands of men. Grace’s vast empire of ships stretched from Connaught on the Irish coast to Africa. Through the daring of her piracy, Grace nearly bankrupted the English treasury-and her outright defiance brought embarrassment to Queen Elizabeth I.

graceomalley

International Talk Like a Pirate Day or ITLAPD is on September 19. It is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. Arghhhhh!

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Take 15% Off everything you purchase today only!
Enter promo code ARGHH15

Offer good today on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th, only. Shop online at Talk-Like-a-Pirate-Dayhttp://www.theirishjewelrycompany.com/

Tips On How To Buy Irish Jewelry For A Gift

via Tips On How To Buy Irish Jewelry For A Gift.

There is not a doubt that giving your loved one jewelry says they are special. But giving someone of Irish heritage a piece of Irish or Celtic jewelry, steeped in symbolism and tradition could put them over the moon. The sentimentality of Celtic jewelry is phenomenal but finding the perfect meaning is key. It’s a timeless gift, like a family heirloom that can be passed on for generations. However, successfully selecting the perfect piece with that special meaning can be a wee bit confusing for some people. Simply follow these easy tips and choosing that perfect jewelry gift that speaks for itself will be effortless.

1. How old is the person you are shopping for? You really want to take the age of the perstemporary imageon into consideration. If they are a child you’ll want something smaller in size, maybe with a touch of whimsy like an angel or fairy. If they are in their twenties to forties then have no fear and go trendy with an Infinity Knot or Stackable Claddagh Ring. If you are buying for somebody a wee bit wiser in their years then I would go with a traditional symbol of Ireland like an Irish Harp.

2. What type of jewelry do they normally wear? Start looking at how they currently accessorize their wardrobe. Do they wear earrings all the time? Are they long and dangling or are they smaller and close to the ear? Do they like bracelets and rings or are they a necklace person? If you are buying a ring it is important to get the size correct. Many online jewelry retailers offer a ring sizing tool. A simple ring sizing guide to measure your finger or an actual ring online. By using this simple tool it eliminates the hassle of having to make a ring exchange.

3. Is it a religious occasion? Having an understanding of the event or occasion you are purchasing your jewelry gift for is very important. If it is a religious ceremony like a communion or confirmation you should go with something more traditional like a Celtic cross, medal or rosary.

4. On the other hand shopping for a birthday gift can be fun. Take the person’s personality into consideration. Are they fun and vibrant with a great sense of humor? Then go with something whimsical that has a punch of emerald green color like the “Little Irish Devil Shamrock” necklace. If they are a little more mystical and free-spirited try a legendary style like the “Children of Lir” pendant, “Irish Tree of Life” or something with a Celtic knot theme. If they are a bit more reserved then try a more traditional shamrock pendant, trinity knot or a claddagh necklace.

5. Who is the person you are shopping for? If you are shopping for a sibling or close friend who is like a sister then you should consider a style like the “Celtic Sisters Knot”. For a more romantic gift we recommend shopping for a love knot or a claddagh ring, a symbol of friendship, love and loyalty. If you are shopping for a mom or mom to be then consider a style with loads of sentimental meaning like the “Celtic Mother’s Knot” or the “Mother’s Claddagh” collection. Any mother would be overwhelmed with joy by their meaning. If you are purchasing for a grandmother try considering a style like the “Family Birthstone Claddagh”. It can be personalized with all the grand children’s birthstones. What Irish grandmother wouldn’t love that?

Irish and Celtic jewelry is inspired by customs and folklores passed on for generations over centuries from countries like Ireland and Scotland. Giving a piece of jewelry like this as a gift is a wonderful tribute to someone’s heritage.

Jennifer Derrig, Owner of http://www.TheIrishJewelryCompany.com. Shop The Irish Jewelry Company for all your Irish Jewelry needs.

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