Top 5 Dublin Christmas Traditions

It won’t be long until the Christmas lights have been turned on in your town or city and the incessant playing of Xmas jingles and songs you that haven’t heard since last December has begun in earnest. You may have your own cherished Christmas traditions but it’s nice too to have a look at what other people get up every December.

Dublin city loves Christmas and we thought we’d look at our favourite five great things Dubliners get up to in the festive season. So without further ado, drop your Christmas presents in bundle on the bed of a comfortable budget hotel like Travelodge Dublin Hotels and focus on enjoying our Top 5 Christmas Traditions in Dublin with all the trimmings list.


1: Christmas Eve Busking on Grafton Street

Christmas Eve in Dublin always sees last minute shoppers panicking in their search for that perfect Xmas present but fear not, there is always some great music to calm those worried souls on Grafton Street. This packed shopping street is transformed every year when well-known Irish musicians dust off their busking hats and instruments to perform for the homeless charity, Simon, normally at the Stephen’s Green end of Grafton Street. Watch out for musicians of the calibre of U2, Sinead O’Connor, Lisa Hannigan, Glen Hansard and Damien Rice as they’ve all played in previous Christmas Eves in Dublin.

2: Christmas Day Swim at the Forty Foot in Dublin

Many places in Ireland have a Christmas Day tradition of going in for a swim in Ireland’s freezing coastal waters but one of the most famous is at the Forty Foot swimming platform in Sandycove in County Dublin. You may be putting your freezing life in harm’s way but this swim is for charity. Collectors normally hover just below the Martello Tower, beloved of James Joyce, and you get the perfect excuse for squeezing out of your family’s warm embrace for a few hours on the 25th of December.


3: The Live Crib at Dublin’s Mansion House

Lest we forget the religious significance of the Christmas season, there is a great Dublin tradition of visiting the Live Crib at the home of Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Mansion House on Dawson Street. This draws families from all over Ireland’s capital to hang out with all the Bible animals, mainly sheep and donkeys, as they low and baa next to the large crib, the fascinating representation of the Christmas story complete with a baby Jesus on real hay. Don’t worry though the animals aren’t left to fend for themselves overnight, their shepherds help them to commute like other Dubliners, transporting them in and out to the city each evening.

4: Christmas at Airfield Estate

The farm at Airfield Estate in Dundrum, a suburb of Dublin city, is always a great place to bring the family no matter what time of year it is. But Christmas is the best time ever to visit the farm as you get to see and interact with actual reindeer. Santa’s sleigh-pullers are there for the week before Christmas for kids to adore but there’s plenty of seasonal craft items and food also on offer in a mini Xmas market. Airfield is only a short journey on the LUAS light rail from Dublin city centre.


5: Carols by Candlelight at the NCH in Dublin

If you hark to hear the herald angels sing, then Carols by Candlelight at the National Concert Hall in Dublin may just be your thing. The Mozart Festival Chorus and the Mozart Festival Orchestra will light up your pre-Christmas celebrations with a wonderful concert showcasing all the famous Xmas carols and seasonal favourites. It’s made extra special by the setting in an intimate space with a candle-lit style and with the singers and musicians all in 18th century costume. Performances this year will be two shows on 22 December at the NCH on Earlsfort Terrace. God rest you merry gentlemen!

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