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A Traditional Christmas Greeting To You

The magical Emerald Green Island is truly a land of history and tradition. Centuries before fact or fiction could be written down the stories were passed down by the bards. The bards were both a walking, singing encyclopedia and the main source for news on the island nation.  Slainte and may you have a Happy Christmas[/caption] St. Patrick brought Christianity to the pagans in 432 A.D. The Catholic Church spread and brought reading and writing soon eliminating the tradition of the bard. The love for music even without the bards continued and many lovely Christmas carols have been handed down over the years. Other Christmas traditions include the placing of a ring of Holly on doors. It was colorful and was still vibrant and allowed even the poor to decorate their homes. All decorations are traditionally taken down on Little Christmas (January 6th.) and it is considered to be bad luck to take them down beforehand.  A lighted candle is placed in the window of a house on Christmas Eve primarily as a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they travelled looking for shelter. The candle also indicated a safe place for priests to perform mass as, during Penal Times this was not allowed and was punishable by death. The candle was to be lit by the youngest member of the household and then only extinguished by a girl bearing the name 'Mary'. After the evening meal on Christmas eve the kitchen table was again set and on it was placed a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a lighted candle. The door to the house was left unlocked so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveler, could avail of the welcome. This is called the Laden Table. Now a traditional Irish Christmas wish from us to you - 'Nollaig Shona Duit'......which is pronounced as 'null-ig hun-a dit'.  Or simply put Happy Christmas For your listening pleasure..
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