Christmas in Dublin is a time for lights, spices and Christmas choirs. Walking in the streets, there is Christmas music everywhere you go – mostly from street musicians or choirs that collect money for charity.

A walk past the shops brings aromas of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, accompanied by the blinding glow of thousands of lights hanging over the streets, outside every shop and in most houses and windows.

It’s like Christmas in the movies. Wrapped in your coat and scarf, you find yourself yearning for something hot such as hot chocolate or gluhwein … anything to warm up your body in the freezing cold.

Although snow during Christmas isn’t rare in Dublin, we haven’t had a white Christmas during the two years we’ve stayed here. It is still freezing cold though.

The Irish usually love rich stews and potato dishes and Christmas is no exception. On the Christmas table you will find a juicy turkey or delectable roasted ham. Side dishes include Brussel sprouts with bacon and croutons drizzled with a delicious Caesar dressing, and roast potato with gravy. Dessert is often layered trifle or a Christmas cake (similar to South African fruit cake) or meat pies – dough with a filling of minced fruit and Christmas spices.

Despite the cold, you should try to spend as little time as possible indoors and visit the Christmas markets. There are many different kinds of handmade gifts to look at and Christmas treats to be tasted.

Christmas in Dublin is really special, especially for someone from the Southern hemisphere.

A Merry Christmas, or as the Irish would say, “Nollaig Shona”

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

Elsje du Toit
Elsje du Toit
Elsje du Toit is a country girl from the Northern Cape who later work a journalist at Volksblad and Netwerk24 in Bloemfontein for five years. She and her husband, JJ, have been living in Dublin since January 2018. Although having lived there for a while, she has not yet become accustomed to the cold weather, but still enjoys every moment.

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