Christmas has already passed, a long-awaited date throughout the year, full of magic and festivity. This year has been quite a difficult year for many people due to the coronavirus. Therefore, more than ever, this week we will happily welcome 2021 and all its new opportunities.
It is also a meeting point with our loved ones, as well as a time for reflection and closing cycles. It quickly gives way to the New Year, a date that always brings expectations and hopes for everyone. And Ireland is no exception. This island, so well known for its ancient traditions, also has a place in New Year’s rites.
New Years in Ireland: cleaning and provision
One of the Irish customs to start the new year on the right foot is to thoroughly clean the house. Another custom, which even starts at Christmas, is to fill your home with provisions and also with coal. All this will augur a year to come full of abundance. And to be sure, New Year’s food should be copious and delicious. To ward off bad fortune, an ancient custom was to hit doors and windows with a bread. With this they also ensured that there would never be a shortage of bread on their table the following year.
Receive the new year with openness and good fortune
One of the Irish traditions, as in other countries, is to remember what happened during the year. In addition, it is a tradition not to close any access door to their homes, because they believe that those who have already transcended return to celebrate the New Year. In some places, such as Portmagee, County Kerry, they celebrate the so-called Old Year, remembering what happened with music and dance.
On the other hand, in the first hours of the year the first person to go out must be a man, tall, handsome and dark. This augurs wellness for the rest of the year. But they advise against it being a red-haired girl, or the opposite will happen. One way to bring good luck in love for the new year is to put a little red mistletoe under your pillow.
Closing cycles… and opening new ones in Ireland
The island of Schill, in the coastal area of County Mayo, is ideal to appreciate the last sunset, not to mention the island, but Europe. It is common for people to gather there while listening to the sound of the bagpipes at midnight. Another custom that comes with the beginning of the year is to jump into the cold Atlantic waters in the traditional swim race on the Silver Strand.
And to start in the best mood, nothing like going to the Dublin New Year’s Festival, which is three days of parties, concerts, events and more. There the beginning of the year is celebrated, traditions, parades, street parties, in short. There is the New Year’s Eve Procession of Light, a procession of torches, enchanted landscapes, lights and artists. Or the Countdown Concert, with Irish bands and fireworks. In addition to gastronomic festivals, 3D projections, guided tours and cultural activities. In short, an irresistible offer.
Finally, it only remains to enjoy on New Year’s Eve an exquisite Irish whiskey punch, prepared with cloves, lemon and brown sugar. It is said that this drink warms you from the inside out and is drunk hot, in the heat of the fireplace. Undoubtedly an excellent way to end the year, perform the corresponding rituals and hope for the best in the new cycle that is beginning.