Carolers and festive lights brighten the streets of Dublin now that the holiday season is here.
Stores are already crowded with holiday shoppers, and a few stopped to tell me about their Dublin Christmas traditions.
“You have to walk up Grafton Street coming up to Christmas after they turn the lights on,” said shopper Ana Loughlin.
“There’s always like big bands and acts that always like play up at the top of the street for charity and stuff like that, like you’d get Bono and Hozier and they always just play randomly on Christmas Eve every year,” added Dublin native Robert Adamson.
I also found out what foods fill their tables on Christmas Day.
Long-time Dublin resident John Cully remembers that “a thing called spiced round is very popular at Christmas and we always got that” at his family’s holiday meals, and Adamson added, “baked potatoes, croquettes – it’s basically just potatoes and meat.”
Loughlin told me that a traditional Irish Christmas meal would include “brussel sprouts usually, but not everybody likes that so it depends who you ask. Carrots – but it’s really the turkey, ham, stuffing. It has to be good stuffing.”
And of course, the Irish pub scene plays a big role in the festivities – “especially with the whole Twelve Pubs of Christmas tradition,” remarked Adamson.
“You know, people you have to meet for Christmas drinks in the specific pubs in town as well, like O’Donoghue’s or Searson’s and places like that. There’s like really Christmas-y pubs that kind of – that’s what makes me feel it’s Christmas,” says Loughlin.
Several Christmas markets are set to open next weekend and nearly every street of the city is adorned with holiday lights. In fact, the Dublin City Council hung just over 47,000 festive light bulbs on Grafton Street alone.
And with holiday shoppers filling the stores to the sound of Christmas music, there’s no doubt that Dubliners are ready for Christmas.
Take a peek at more of this year’s Dublin holiday events here.