Are you a new tech company recently set up in Ireland? Or maybe are you working in Ireland for a multinational company and spending your first Christmas in Ireland? Well I thought it would be fun to share six Irish traditions which I (the New Zealander) found novel in the run up to my first Christmas in Ireland…..
Spot a real Reindeer during the lead up to Christmas – Yes they are here in Dublin! A fond Christmas memory of mine was driving through Phoenix Park on a snowy Christmas Eve, and spotting wild deer! Snow cannot be guaranteed of course, but it is common to see the herd of Fallow Deer which has lived in Phoenix Park since the 1660's! If you want to meet one of Rudolf’s cousins there is a daily family event organised in the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre up until the 23rd December (call 01 6770095 for availability). The Phoenix Park has attractions all through the year and well worth a look.
Christmas sweaters are a ‘must have’ for an Irish winter’s night! They are often worn to pubs for Christmas drinks (especially for the ‘twelve pubs of Christmas’ outings). The crazier the design the better –and flashing lights will bring out the competitive streak within the office!
A Pantomime is always good fun at Christmas time. This form of theatre is traditionally performed for a family audience, and incorporates song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick and in-jokes. It is great for any age, and it usually contains topical reference and audience participation. Click here for some ‘panto’s’ happening this year around Ireland.
A candle in the window on Christmas Eve is very common in Ireland. It was traditionally to let Joseph and Mary know that shelter was available, and more common these days as a sign of general welcome to friends and neighbours. I remember noticing it initially in rural areas – in every house… maybe the lights just stand out more in the countryside…
The Christmas Day Swim is a tradition that I love to see, though would never partake in!!! It is popular for all coastal areas of Ireland, and those who are crazy enough to run into the sea (like our own @deemorany in the pic) will often raise money for charity too. The most famous Christmas swim is at the Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire. Enquire if a beach near you is holding a swim on Christmas day, it is well worth a look! In the past I have seen swimmers in the sea with snow on the beach!
Christmas dinner with all the trimmings is standard in most Irish homes. If you are spending your first Christmas in Ireland you may well have it planned already by a typically welcoming Irish family, keen to share their Christmas with you! Along with the biggest dinner you have seen expect also to see Christmas cake; Christmas Crackers and a Box of Chocolate Sweets!
It is customs and traditions like these that make Ireland a great (and festive) place to live and work, coupled of course with our amazing talent and track record of welcoming international tech companies every year to Ireland.
Find out more about this from our Emerging Business team....we would love to hear from you, especially if you have any Christmas traditions you have noticed in your multinational / tech company in Ireland that you can share :)
Wishing all our clients, newcomers and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year.
IDA's Emerging Business & Pharmaceutical teams