The twelve days of Christmas, Irish-style, are coming to a close. And when I say these days are wrapping up, I mean it is also something people are doing in high quantities at this time of year, two days before Christmas.
It’s the time where last-minute shoppers are picking up their last gifts and tying up loose ends and therefore tying up those boxes and gifts in a literal sense.
We left off on December 29th, which would be five days deep into the 12 days. These two days aren’t filled with anything noteworthy except for that the Irish use these two days off of work taking their families out to those “once in a year type of places” like the Dublin Zoo or the Fota Wildlife Park in Cork.
Still, looking for a last-minute gift? This Silver Heart-Shaped Locket encrusted with green shamrocks is the best last-minute gift. It is sentimental and Irish, but also made of sterling silver. The use of the shamrocks will remind whoever receives it, to put their most precious memories inside of it so they can look back to it when they are feeling down. The locket will be there as a source to inspire.
After a long day at the zoo or wherever your family ends up on the 29th or 30th, we all find ourselves staring at the end of our year and anticipating the new one. In Ireland, you won’t find the crowds that you are likely to find in some of the bigger global cities, but the Irish are not the kind to pass up this tradition. For those adventurous sorts, booking an outing to England to enjoy New Years’ there is not unheard of. Tickets can be purchased to either Great Britain or France on a ferry, see here, and then the rest of the journey will take you by rail to your destination. Although many Irish folks seems just at home in their local pubs and trust that they will be very crowded on the 31st, some will opt for the bigger journey to Paris or London for the celebration.
On the 1st, you are likely to be woken up to sounds of silence. This day is where you might just see the hermit in every Irishman. After a long night out socializing, most will be very content in their homes. This day is also known as The Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus Christ. It makes sense that all would want to take their breaths and hold them in quietly.
In the next two days, there isn’t much left to do, besides visit those you might have missed and enjoy all of that leftover turkey. This all sets the stage for January 5th and 6th which are the Feast of Epiphany and it’s eve, otherwise known as Twelfth Night Eve. This night and day officially mark the end of the Christmas season. Children will find their way back to school and everything comes to a close. But, not without one last celebration, which is what the Epiphany is known for.