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Beannachtaí an tSéasúir (BAN-ock-tee on Tay-zure) - Season's Greetings
The most common response to this would be: "Nollaig Mhaith Chugat"
If one were to wish someone a "Happy New Year," he or she would say:
"Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit"
And if one were to be addressing two or more other persons, he or she would say:
Just as in English, the two expressions are often combined to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as follows:
Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit.
Le gach dea-ghui i gcomhair na nollag agus na h-ath bhliana! (With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year!)
The plural of this would be:
For every greeting above, the common response is:
If you have tried to learn these phrases in Irish, and all earnest attempts have failed, just try the universal greeting...lift a pint, thrust it forward in the internationally accepted toast, and you will be a hit in any language. (Especially if you buy the house a round.)
For more Holiday Irish words and phrases, please click Holiday Irish.
Note: Letter groups that are capitalized indicate the stressed syllables. There has also been much debate as to whether Shona is pronounced with the sh sound or said as hona. As we understand it, much depends on what part of Ireland you are in.
Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*
Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
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March 4, 2011
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