Presentation on theme: "Ireland's Christmas Ireland's Christmas is more religious than a time of fun. Irish women bake a seed cake for each person in the house. They also make."— Presentation transcript:
Ireland's Christmas Ireland's Christmas is more religious than a time of fun. Irish women bake a seed cake for each person in the house. They also make three puddings, one for each day of the Epiphany such as Christmas, New Year's Day and the Twelfth Night.
After the Christmas evening meal, bread and milk are left out and the door unlatched as a symbol of hospitality. In many areas, on Christmas Eve, a lit candle is placed in a window (nowadays it can be an electric light!). This goes back to traditions of hospitality in ancient times. The idea is to help light the way of the Holy Family or any other poor traveler who is out on that night.
Christmas dinner - usually a goose and sometimes chicken, duck or pheasant as well, along with stuffing, roast potatoes and gravy. Turkey is much more common with a ham, and sometimes spiced beef. Dessert is Christmas pudding with rum sauce or brandy butter and cream.
Christmas in Ireland would be totally incomplete without the Wren Boys on St. Stephen's Day. This is a very old tradition which goes back many centuries, even before the time of the Irish patron saint, St. Patrick. There was a custom of long long ago where a wren was chased out of the bushes and its body was suspended on a holly bush. People, of course, no longer kill the bird but continue to visit from door to door dressed up in homemade costumes like the Americans on Halloween. The song they yell from house to house is called: The wren, the wren, the king of all birds
The Wren boys are generally treated with delicious pudding and sweets. The Wren boys convince any youngsters in the house to continue along with them until there is a large gang of young folk being followed by almost all the children in the neighborhood. They will end up in some neighbour's house and if someone produces a fiddle the party begins. And well, it has to be said; nobody quiet plays the fiddle the way the Irish do and nobody knows how to party like them either. On the feast Epiphany, December 6 th, Christmas officially ends in Ireland. All the Christmas decorations are taken of on this day and the celebrations are marked off by a last feast of the season.