“An Nollaig – The Irish Christmas”
A Christmas evening with Michael Houlihan
Thursday December 13th 8.30 p.m.
Author Michael Houlihan will be the December guest at the X-PO and his seasonal talk is entitled “An Nollaig – The Irish Christmas”. Michael is a Kerry native who has been living in Clare since 1977. He has an M.A. in Local History from U.L.
Michael’s publications include Puck Fair, History and Traditions ; The Holy Wells of County Clare ; The Sacred Trees of County Clare ; Searching for the Dreamtime in County Clare and An Nollaig - An Irish Christmas Reader.
The X-PO talk is a celebration of midwinter, most especially An Nollaig, the Irish Christmas. The lecture touches on the solstice celebrations in Newgrange and fire ceremonies at Tlacgtha before moving in to the Christian period. History, folklore, calendar customs, weather events and folk memories recall past Christmases, from the fifth century onwards. Mummers and Wrenboys feature, as does Ireland’s unique Women’s Christmas, Nollaig na mBan.
‘Big House’ accounts of Christmas come from Maria Edgeworth and Elizabeth Bowen. Musicians Turlough O’Carolan and Frederic Handel add to the story. The lecture is a reminder of the unique tradition that is the Irish Christmas and the many riches it bestows.
The event will take place on Thursday December 13th at 8.30 p.m. It is free of charge. Donations to X-PO welcome. X-PO is a community hub located in the former post office in Killinaboy. More information 087 292 54 87.