To Be Irish: ways to celebrate an Irish Christmas this year
Life & Style

To Be Irish: ways to celebrate an Irish Christmas this year

TO BE Irish today kicks off its programme of Christmas festivities for Irish people at home and abroad.

Ranging from light shows to Christmas concerts, the chance to brush up on Gaeilge and bustling markets, there is something available for everyone.

Those travelling home to Ireland this year are encouraged to share they stories with the initiative, with the returned diaspora being the guest of honour for the programme!

Take are the highlights:

  • Special commissioned 2022 To Be Irish Christmas E-Card - Nollaig Shona - we’ve teamed up with illustrator Fuchsia MacAree to create a specially commissioned e-card for people to send to their loved ones to spread a little Irish Christmas cheer.
  • Back Home, an in-person & live-streamed concert hosted by singer-songwriter and Virgin Media presenter Zeinab Elguzouli in the atmospheric surrounds of the EPIC Museum. This feel-good musical celebration will feature headliner Paul Noonan (from Bell X1 and House Plants) alongside a lineup of special guests Patrick Dexter, Aoife Scott, Erin Fornoff, members of musical group Cuckoo’s Nest and more (In-person & Online, Wed 21 Dec). To attend in person, share your story of calling Ireland home with or email [email protected] to reserve your free tickets.
  • Distillation, a collaboration between environmental artist Luke Casserly from Longford and renowned perfume maker Joan Woods from Waters + Wild in Cork  offering the chance to bring a bit of the essence of the Irish midlands bog to life with a special parcel sent directly to your home. A gentle invitation to get your nose in, and consider the past, present, and future of the Irish bog landscape.
  • 2022 Unwrapped, a video series catching up with some of the global Irish family who have really made a splash in 2022, like Damian Browne who recently rowed across the Atlantic from New York to Galway. (online, online from today, 14 Dec).


Highlights from home include:

  • Dublin - Umoja linn Christmas Market - In partnership with EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum, Umoja linn brings a fun and culture-filled Afro-inspired Christmas Market to Dublin City. The market will feature products by Afro-inspired designers, drumming workshops, Afro-inspired dance workshops and more. (In-person, Thu 15 & Fri 16 Dec).
  • Dublin - The Long Christmas Dinner - Returning to our national stage The Abbey Theatre, enjoy this award-winning, heart-warming production. A gift-wrapped seasonal gem, this meditation on togetherness gives us a moment to pause and reflect on our own families and what Christmas means for each of us. (In-person, various dates).
  • Dublin - Lessons and Carols at  Christ Church Cathedral - Take a break from the bustling Dublin streets and step into the historic Christ Church Cathedral for a traditional service of music and scripture readings in preparation for Christmas. (In-person, Sun 18 Dec).
  • Wicklow - Winter Solstice Celebration -  Bundle up and celebrate the longest night of the year with an evening of storytelling, sound healing and nature connection in atmospheric Glendalough. Discover stories and legends about Glendalough and the solstice, share a warming( cup of tea, and reconnect with the natural world. (In-person Wed 21 Dec).
  • Galway - Celtic Tales at The Crane Bar - Settle in and listen to master storyteller and author Rab Fulton as he takes you through an enthralling evening of Irish folktales, myths, and legends.  And be sure to stick around afterwards for some traditional Irish music! (In-person, Thur 15 and Thur 22).
  • Limerick - Christmas in Limerick - Pay a visit to the Christmas Village on Arthur’s Quay for an unforgettable day out! Tickle the taste buds with delicious seasonal treats, take a ride on the vintage carousel, strap on your skates and take to the ice rink…you can even pay a visit to the big man himself. (In-person, Thu 15 - Thu 22 Dec).
  • Cork - Cinderella at the Everyman - And just like that, with a Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, Cork’s favourite traditional family Panto is back! This year’s Panto Cinderella is the wonderful tale of a girl with a dream, a spell that’s broken at midnight and a fairy godmother, all with a modern Panto twist. (In person, various dates)
  • Mayo - Carols at the Castle - Cathal Gavin performing in the iconic location of Ashford Castle. Cathal’s angelic voice is guaranteed to bring festive spirit and joy to your home this Christmas! (Online, Fri 23 Dec).


Highlights from abroad:

  • United Kingdom - Ardal O'Hanlon in conversation with Anne Flaherty - Come along to the Irish Cultural Centre in London as comedian and actor Ardal O'Hanlon joins Anne Flaherty for a conversation about his second novel, Brouhaha. (In-person, Wed 14 Dec).
  • France - Irish in France Christmas Gathering 2022 The Irish community in France will get together for a chat, some music, and some drinks. This will be our first Christmas gathering since COVID restrictions were lifted in France. We expect up to 200 members in attendance. (In-person, Thu 15 Dec).
  • Montréal, Canada - Concordia's School of Irish Studies Yuletide Céilí - Bring your friends, family, and dancing shoes for a céilí featuring traditional Irish music, dance, song and poetry at this event! A chance to dress to the nines, dance, sing and celebrate the wonderful students, faculty and staff at Concordia's School of Irish Studies. (In-person Fri 16 Dec).
  • South Carolina, USA - Ed Harrison Memorial Celtic Christmas - With Christmas approaching and the New Year beckoning, it’s time once again to honour the Irish and Scottish roots of the Appalachian region with traditional Celtic music, featuring nationally acclaimed performer Jamie Laval. (In-person, Sat 17th Dec).
  • Minnesota, USA - Celtic Holiday Hooley - A hosted variety show with Irish music, sketches, step dance, carolling, and more at the Celtic Junction Arts Center in St. Paul, MN. This year’s lineup features include three-time Live Ireland Award winner Norah Rendell, original Riverdancer Cormac O’Sé, and many more. (In-person, Fri 16th Dec, Sat 17th Dec).
  • Worldwide, Online - Cóisir na Nollag 2022 - Let’s Learn Irish, the online Irish language community, is hosting Cóisir na Nollag 2022, an online party that promises to be a great opportunity for Irish learners from around the world to meet ‘trí Ghaeilge’. There will be comhrá (chat), ceol (music) and comhluadar (company) for all language levels! (Online, Sun 20th Dec).