Blog Article 20 Dec 2019

Are you a newly established company in Ireland? Or maybe you are working for a multinational organisation and this is your first Christmas in Ireland. Here are some Irish traditions and activities that you may or may not wish to partake in over the festive season


1 The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

The Botanical Gardens run various events throughout the year. During the festive season, there are guided walking tours organised for you to enjoy. The focus, at Christmas, is around seasonal shrubbery and flower beds, encompassing interesting insights on festive winter foliage, a Christmas Eco Craft Market and even a visit from Santa Claus! Find out more here.


2 Carol Singing

Commencing early in December, carol singers can be found in virtually all public spaces. While the skill sets of the singers can vary significantly, it’s all in the spirit of good fun. The singers are usually raising money for charitable causes.


3 Grafton Street Christmas Eve Busk

Grafton Street is famous for its high calibre of street buskers, and on Christmas Eve, something really special takes place. Many famous, and globally recognised Irish musicians drop by to join in the singing which assists greatly in charitable donations made. Click here to see some of last year's fun.


4 The Panto

Genuine fun for all the family! The pantomime theatre performance is generally based on fairy tales. Pantomime incorporates singing, dancing, slapstick comedy and lots of audience interaction. The topical jokes keep the adults laughing, and children are excited to sing along, dance along, and boo and hiss at the baddies! Click here for a roundup of Christmas pantomimes on this year.


5 The Wren

The Wren, sometimes pronounced “wran”, takes place every year on 26th December. The Wren boys (or girls) dress up in old clothes and go from house to house singing, dancing, and playing music. The tradition of the wren is carried out in certain parts of the country, particularly in the southwest and west.

The history of the Wren predates Christmas, with origins in Irish mythology. The wren is said to have betrayed troops of Irish soldiers warring with Norsemen by beating their wings on the opponents shields. The poor wren is also blamed for betraying St. Stephen the first Christian martyr. This is probably why the wren was once hunted on this day. In former times it was hunted and then nailed to a pole at the head of the procession. Thankfully some traditions have waned over time, but you can still hear people saying this poem on the 26th December.

The wren the wren the kings of all birds,

On St. Stephen’s Day it was caught in the furze

Up with the kettle and down with the pan

Give me a penny to bury the wren.


6 Nollaig na mBan

Nollaig na mBan (pronounced nulleg na mun) translates to Women’s Christmas, also known as Little Christmas. Nollaig na mBan falls on 6th January the traditional end of Christmas. In Ireland it is the day when the women of the household get to take the day off from household chores after doing all the festive cooking and organising. It is a special day for women to get together with sisters, mothers, friends, aunts, grandmothers, cousins and let their hair down, while the men look after the household.


Ireland is well known for its creativity and innovation and customs and traditions like this make Ireland a great place to live, work, and play. Add this to our great talent and track record of welcoming international companies every year to Ireland.


Our Emerging Business team would love to hear from you if you have any Christmas traditions to share or if you are considering internationalising your business here in Ireland


Wishing all of our existing and future clients a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year


Monica Harding

Connect with IDA Emerging Business Team

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