Almost every week at this time of year folks are very curious about what Christmas is like in Ireland, or more specifically in Northern Ireland. How exactly do the Irish celebrate the season?
The photo above is a festive scene outside the beautiful City Hall in Belfast, and whilst snowy scenes are fairly uncommon in Ireland, it may surprize you how similar Christmas is in Ireland – with a few Irish twists, perhaps like this:
- Christmas shopping in Belfast, despite the weather…
Yes, people in Northern Ireland generally endure the cold and the rain to shop on the city streets in Northern Ireland’s capital city. They visit Primark, and Marks & Spencers, and a hundred other wee shops – all in the cold, but with that Irish spirit – yes, Belfast has a Christmas spirit about it that is wonderful. Brass bands play, lights twinkle and crowds of folks make for a superb atmosphere, on city streets -(remember that?)
- Turkey or Goose?
Because we don’t have a Thanksgiving in Ireland, Irish people look forward to a turkey on Christmas – and in rural areas, people look forward to a goose on Christmas day. So, in Ireland the bird is still king on Christmas day…
- Boxing day, & St. Stephens day
Yes, the day after Christmas in Ireland actually has a name, and special traditions. Boxing day is a day for soccer derby match ups – local teams compete each other whilst folks eat up left over turkey whilst watching on tv. Shops are still closed, and so those who don’t like soccer go for walks in forest parks or on the beach, or hunt. – then, they eat left-overs!
…more to follow
…thoughts, let me know!
Judie the Irish Foodie