Celebrate the Celtic Way this Christmas 2017

How do you bring in a Celtic flavor to your Christmas celebrations? It might be easier than you think, as many much-enjoyed and celebrated traditions have their roots in Celtic mysticism and symbolism.

Here are 5 ways to celebrate the Celtic way this Christmas...

Christmas Fire

Lighting a Fire
There’s nothing like firelight at Christmas time and of course Santa coming down the chimney is one of the most evocative images of Christmas. By lighting a fire in your home on Christmas morning and coming together as a group to do this, you are ensuring that you continue the Celtic traditions as ‘burning the yule log’ was very much a part of the Celtic past over the years.

Put some Stars on your Tree
Many people put a star on the top of the Christmas tree but may not realize that decorating the Christmas tree was originally a pagan Irish celebration. Decorations to mark the three deities – the sun, moon and stars, were included to honor the sky – a tradition that has continued to this day. Whether your stars represent the Three Wise Men, the sparkle of Christmas or the Celtic traditions, they will look good whatever the meaning as the star is always at the center of Christmas celebrations.

Holly and Ivy
The beautiful evergreen leaves of the holly and the ivy always look really luxurious and seasonal. When put together as a wreath for the front door, they symbolize the welcome to visitors of Christmas. The ancient Celtic tradition of the holly and the ivy was established to ward off any evil spirits and while the meaning has changed and softened, it is still considered to have Irish / Celtic roots. Holly was always in plentiful supply and flourished around Christmas time so even if a household was poor, the house could still be decorated. Finding holly with lots of berries was considered good luck.

Christmas Candle

A Candle at the Window  
One of the most evocative images of any Christmas is a candle at the window. This tradition was brought to life once more in Ireland by President Mary Robinson who reignited it at the President’s home of Aras an Uachtarain where it burned brightly as a ‘Welcome Candle’ for all emigrants. Leaving a candle in the window of a house was an old Celtic ritual to light a way for all to pass peacefully. The placing of a lit candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is celebrated in many Irish homes to this day to symbolize a welcome to Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter and is often lit by the youngest member of the household. It’s also now a symbol for the Irish diaspora and loved ones that cannot make it home for Christmas.

‘Little Christmas’
The Christmas season traditionally ended on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany when all the decorations were taken down and the celebrations were over for one more year. But across Ireland, this was the day called Little Christmas or Nollaig na mBan (Women’s Christmas) where the men would do all the work and prepare a special meal for the ladies of the house. This tradition is still marked and celebrated in many parts of Ireland with special gatherings organized by women.

Why not bring some of these beautiful Irish traditions in to your home this Christmas?
Posted on December 20, 2017

Leave a Comment

Please note that all boxes below are required. Your email address will not be published.

Your Name:
Your Email:
Your Comment: