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According to tradition in Ireland , the Christmas season starts four Sunday's before Christmas Day, with a period known as Advent, when all good Catholics should be in church each Sunday.
The unofficial Irish Christmas starts on the 8th December, when people throughout the country head to Dublin to do their Christmas shopping. The holiday period then begins on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is a time when everything is closed and everyone is at home with the family. The following day in Ireland is also a public holiday - the feast day of St Stephen and on St Stephen's Day the pubs are packed as everyone in towns and villages up and down the country celebrates Christmas together.
The following few days are quiet in Ireland - allowing for the hangovers to have sufficiently recovered in time for New Year's Eve, which is celebrated with the usual gusto. On New Year's Day the pubs are open in Ireland for those in need of a hangover cure. The Irish Christmas calendar comes to a close on the 12th Day of Christmas, the 6th January, when people celebrate Women's Little Christmas , a day when traditionally the women have the day off and the men have to do all the household chores.
Christmas in Ireland is indeed a time of celebration and merry making, where the festive spirits are certainly high. All of us here at Discovering Ireland Vacation , would like to wish Nollaig Shona dhi bh go leir! (Happy Christmas to you all!)