Ireland’s traditions mirror that of it’s Celtic Neighbor, Scotland. Both were Viking settlements and get many traditions that are shared. Commonalities can be found between the two countries. It’s all about bringing in the good luck for the year, and preventing misfortune.
Hearth and Home
As with just about everything Irish, family and home are a big tradition. The Irish celebrate with family and neighbors. Many go to special parties at clubs and displays. But theres plenty to be found in favored pubs as the Irish check in with neighbors and friends.
Clean up to start the new year! Cleanliness is next to Godliness! Whatever you believe, the house needs clearing. So clearing out from the holidays to create a fresh start for the year is the theme.
The Irish honor their dead during the holiday, remembering family members that have passed as well as those that could not come. Place settings may represent family members at tables.
One of the fun traditions was banging walls with bread to scare off evil spirits. Great idea for stale bread use and maybe battering a bit before creating a pudding? This probably did not hold true during the many famines that plagued Ireland’s past as bread would not go to waste.
First Foot traditions followed here as well, with the same good luck for dark haired and bad for women entering first.
Mistletoe for Love
Mistletoe, holly or ivy was often placed under a pillow for wishing for a love to enter one’s life. It allowed the person to see their future in dreams, and hopefully a mate. Some prefer to hang the mistletoe at the front door.
Dubliners like to party and a lot is on for NYE. Concerts and fireworks displays abound. Dublin is a musical city and filled with arts. You can find many things to occupy your NYE. The same holds true for Galway. There is always somewhere to celebrate in any town in Ireland.