A Celtic Christmas Custom ~ The Holly and the Ivy

I’m getting ready to hit the road for the next 5 days for Celtic Christmas performances and I got to thinking about our Christmas traditions growing up in Ireland. One of the biggest ones was using Holly and Ivy to decorate our home. My brothers, sisters and I would gather it up and our mom would decorate the doors and windows with the greenery and bright red berries.

Holly in front of a thatched cottage in Ireland

Holly in front of a thatched cottage in Ireland

For thousands of years, Celtic people decorated their homes with the mystical plant during Yuletide or winter solstice because it was believed the Holly symbolized the strength of hearth and home, while the prickly leaves offered protection against hostile energies! So as you hang your Holly and Ivy this season, you will be taking part in a custom that is thousands of years old and still done today! If your ancestors were Celtic people, they would have taken part in this tradition for many, many generations! Nollaig Shona Duit!  Danny



Leave a Reply

Copyright 2023 - Danny O'Flaherty (Hybrasyl Productions)