Friday 8 December 2023

Book launch: Christmas and the Irish: A Miscellany

A timely launch if ever there was: Christmas and the Irish – A Miscellany covers the festive season in Ireland from the seventh century to the present day. In 75 articles, ranging from the serious to the light-hearted, writers from a range of academic disciplines and professions reflect on what Christmas has meant to the island's people.

Topics covered in this volume include: the theme of light in early Irish texts; festive feasting and fighting in the Middle Ages; the Kilmore carols of County Wexford; the history of Irish Christmas food through the centuries; crimes of Christmas past; Christmas on the Blasket Islands; the claim that 'Santa's Grave' is in County Kilkenny; why Irish missionaries in Zimbabwe regularly missed out on their Christmas dinner; the origins and early life of the Late Late Toy Show; the Wren Boys; 'Women's Christmas'; Irish links to popular Christmas carols; and the curious custom of reciting 4,000 Hail Marys in the lead up to the big day.

Edited by Professor Salvador Ryan, and following the success of his three-volume series on Birth, Marriage and Death and the Irish (2016-2021), this anthology will prove a fascinating read for all who are interested in the social, cultural, and religious history of Ireland.

The launch will be hosted by Tipperary Studies at The Source Library in Thurles, County Tipperary, on Thursday 12 December from 7pm. Copies of the 388-page paperback will be available to purchase on the night, but if you can't attend, you can purchase online via Wordwell (the publisher), Barnes and Noble, O'Mahony's, or visit other good bookstores.