8 Festive events Irish people can relate to around the holidays

Same traditions new year.

I have to start by saying that this year will be one for the history books, a very different Christmas to past years. It is often debated when is it too early to start Christmas but this Christmas has definitely come early. With the toy show normally the event kicks off the Christmas season officially. This year we are seeing Zooms with Santa, Drive-thru experiences and innovation to keep the spirits high and the festive season going. We look at 8 festive norms that all Irish people can relate to. 

12 Pubs

A longstanding Irish tradition that sees a group of friends probably wearing Christmas getups have a drink in each of the 12 pubs of their choice. Creating silly rules in each pub like you can’t drink with your good hand or you must answer any questions with a word first etc. Although some end up being only 3-4 pubs, having personally never completed the full 12 pubs I am part of that category.


Christmas Eve Mass

For the longest time, Christmas eve mass was a fixture in many people’s Christmas plans with the nativity play and choir. Home for a hot chocolate and an early night so that Santa would come. 

Pub on Christmas Eve 

As I got older my Christmas eve traditions began to change. This was the day and my friends would go for a few drinks and exchange kris kindle presents. A chance to see people from the neighborhood and sing Christmas songs together, while still getting home by 9pm for a Christmas movie with the fam.


Christmas day mile/swim

Charity runs or swims are a great way to get the family together to support charities and highlight the togetherness and appreciation of Christmas. Whether you are a runner or a swimmer I encourage you to look into this next year as this year it may not be possible. It is a fun event with a great outcome. 

The Christmas mile does what it says on the tin, you run 4 laps of a running track or a course in a park for charity. The Christmas Swim normally evolves people either wearing Christmas hats or the ones who take it even more seriously, dress up as Santa and jump into the freezing cold sea.


Board Game overload 

For many years my siblings and I didn’t play board games around Christmas because things got too competitive however as we grew up this change. And we have all been a part of a very long board game that you may not even fully understand what the rules are or who’s actually winning. My top tip here is to play a board game with a specific number of rounds or one you know won’t last until New Years’. 

Post-Christmas feast nap

After the large feast you have on Christmas there is always time for an after-dinner nap. In my house, we have 1 hour of the evening where my grandparents fall asleep on the sofa and I crawl into bed for an hour. Just enough time to re-energize for board game time, for me to win some bragging rights.


Leftover Sambos 

There is no better sambo than the leftovers of a Christmas Turkey or Ham. Lashing everything on them for days after Christmas just to make sure none of it goes to waste. For many years my mum would send me to work with these sambos which basically had a full roast dinner on them and a little sachet of gravy.

What date is it? 

That period between the 26th and 31st where time and dates seem non-existent. Nobody really knows what day or date it is, they are just enjoying the relaxing times with some food, board games, and maybe a nice cheese board. It solely exists to bridge the gap between Christmas and New Years’.


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