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Nine typical Irish Christmas traditions from Santy to Midnight Mass

From Brown Thomas’ decorations to the hustle and bustle on Henry Street, you can’t help but feel the Christmas spirit all around Dublin.

We have to thank the authentic Irish traditions for making Christmas special each year.

We celebrate the festive season like no other country, and anyone living abroad would miss the typical Irish ways.

So here’s the top traditions that you can’t escape when you’re in Ireland for Christmas.

Going to the pub before Midnight Mass

It’s basically an unwritten rule to have a few quiet ones before rocking up to mass. But it’s important not to have too many because it’s a huge social gathering where you’ll bump into family, friends and neighbours.



Priest wheels out of church on scooter after finishing Dublin Christmas mass

Stealing all the Maltesers from the Celebrations

At Christmas every Irish household will have at least one box of ‘good’ sweets. For us, we love Celebrations…and yes, we will slip the Maltesers all up our sleeves when nobody’s looking. Anyone who eats Bounty’s or leaves the wrappers in the tub automatically gets coal from Santa.

The tub of sweets is perfect for storing sewing kits afterwards!



Maltesers Teasers

Santy

If you call him Santa you’re posh! It’s an Irish tradition to leave him out a Guinness, Santy is the only man in existence away with drink driving, Jesus Christ wouldn’t even get away with that on his birthday.

And it’s officially Christmas when you see Santy on the Coke bottle!



St Stephen’s Day races

Horse racing on St Stephen’s Day have become a tradition in Ireland and the races in Leopardstown attract thousands every year.

Heading off to the races is a chance to get out of the house, stretch the legs, put a few bets on, escape the family and have a drink with friends.



Fairyhouse Racing, Fairyhouse Racecourse, Co. Meath 4/12//2016 The Bar One Racing Handicap Hurdle

Christmas Day Swim

The most famous Christmas day swim has to be at the Forty Foot. On the day, hundreds of people can be seen jumping off the rock into the Irish Sea wearing only their bathing suits.

The water is usually 10C but it’s said to be a hangover cure and a lot of participants do it for charity.



Taoiseach Leo Varadkar takes part in the annual Christmas Day swim at the Forty Foot bathing spot in Sandycove Dublin. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 25, 2019

Turkey sandwiches, ham sandwiches, stuffing sandwiches

Be prepared to be stuck to the sofa during the Christmas week because mammy will be force feeding you leftovers.

We can’t forget the crisp sandwiches, we find ourselves living off them for a week because someone always gets the classic big box of Tayto.



Tayto sandwiches

The inevitable family fallout

Will it be Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly that’ll break up the family this year? Someone is usually accused of cheating and go tobann, a table is flipped over.



Monopoly – always ends in an argument nobody wins

The 8th December

The day culchies run wild in Dublin. Before online shopping, those with the farmers tan and the welly marks on their legs would run wild in the big shopping centres, like Dundrum and Kildare Village.

But, there is still something magical about the boggers in their O’Neills tracksuit bottoms and Superdry jackets strolling down Henry Street or Grafton Street in Dublin at Christmas time.



The culchie starter pack
The culchie starter pack

Pints

Whether it’s 12 pubs, or Stephen’s Day pints, pints before dinner or pints after dinner, there’s one guaranteed Christmas tradition, and that is pints. And if drinking isn’t for you, there’s alcohol free Kopparberg, Guinness and Heineken to keep you hydrated.



A pint of plain is your only man...even at Christmas
A pint of plain is your only man…even at Christmas

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