The greeting for ‘Happy Christmas’ in Irish is Nollaig Shona Duit or Nollaig Shona Daoibh (plural), the literal translation of this is ‘Happy Christmas to you’. If ‘Nollaig, Shona, Duit/Daoibh’ was literally translated, word for word, into English, it would be “Christmas, happy, to you”.
Christmas is also a time for remembering the dead in Ireland with prayers being offered for deceased at Masses. It is traditional to decorate graves at Christmas with a wreath made of holly and ivy.
In most homes in Ireland the traditional crib, along with the Christmas tree are part of a family’s decorations. Family and friends also give each other gifts at Christmas. The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas eve is still practised today. It has a number of purposes but primarily it was a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they travelled looking…
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