NOLLAIG SHONA - MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!
Visitors to this gallery can see the Christmas Crib (Nativity Scene) with figures in the crib of stone in Ireland reminiscent of the early days of Christianity.
Before Christmas the Irish homes are thoroughly cleaned and in olden times freshly whitewashed in preparation for Christmas.Then the decorations are put up to represent symbolic hospitality to Mary and Joseph and possible actual hospitality to a wondering traveler. There are lighted tallow candles in the front windows which you can see at the museum. Often turnips are used to hold the candles.
It is tradition to have a meatless Christmas Eve supper. Then overnight door is left unlatched and the kitchen reset with a loaf of caraway seed bread and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a large candle. This was called the ladden table.
Holly is the decoration used throughout the room. It is believed the holly makes the tiny fairies feel welcome as a shelter from the cold. The sharply pointed holly around the door and windows keeps the evil spirits out.