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Posts Tagged ‘What Irish People do on St. Stephen’s Day’

Well…we survived Christmas! Did you?

After all the fuss leading up to yesterday and the search for meaning and joy, I’m happy to say that though Christmas was nice enough, today, the Feast of St. Stephen, is particularly enjoyable. With no school or work to go to, no cooking or washing-up to be done, no unwrapping of presents or recycling of paper and boxes to hassle with, we four have been free to enjoy whatever we want. Ahh, the bliss of it!

Our day started with a walk and it is ending with a movie. The in-between hours have been taken up with fun stuff like make-up tutorials, manis and pedis {hey, we’re almost exclusively a house full of women here!}, reading the newspapers, eating leftovers, putting our feet up, and, for me, writing this post.

Anyone who is Irish knows the drill on Stephen’s Day…shopping, eating, relaxing, horse racing, and, if you live in the countryside, a visit from the Wren Boys.

We’ve never been visited by the Wren Boys but I’ve written about this very Irish tradition in books and articles before. My lovely blogger-friend over at A Silver Voice from Ireland has first-hand experience of the custom and wrote about it beautifully here. I’d write more about it but, quite honestly, I wouldn’t do it the justice A Silver Voice has.

The only other St. Stephen’s Day tidbit I’m going to leave you with today is this: St Stephen’s Day, the 26th December, is one of Ireland’s 9 public holidays {also known here as Bank Holidays} occurring each year. Most businesses and schools are closed. Other services, for example, public transport still operate but often with restricted schedules. To see the full list of public holidays in Ireland visit here.

A very happy Lá Fhéile Stiofán {or Lá an Dreoilín} to you and yours!

Related Articles:

A solid history of the tradition of St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland at http://blog.mikerendell.com/?p=564 and http://www.ouririshheritage.org/page_id__70_path__0p4p.aspx and

An Irish Times article on the Wren Boy tradition at http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/another-life-wren-boys-herald-tales-of-the-tiny-king-of-birds-1.1631979

A slew of Irish Christmas traditions at http://www.irishfireside.com/enewsletter/1206/1206holidaytrad.htm and http://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/Christmas-in-Ireland.html and http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/StStephens.html and Top ten Christmas traditions observed by the Irish (PHOTOS) (irishcentral.com) and 12 Christmas Traditions That Are Truly Irish (youthvoiceireland.wordpress.com) and Irish Christmas Traditions (rjegrad.wordpress.com) and An Irish Christmas (inanirishhome.com) and In Ireland the day is one of nine official public holidays. (stairnaheireann.wordpress.com)

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