Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dublin at Christmastime

Welcome to Dublin at Christmastime!  The temperatures are hovering near freezing at night but the days have been tolerably warm and dry.  Said we, "Let's go out on Saturday and enjoy the Christmas sights of the city!"  Saturday arrived and the forecast was in:  Rain and winds gusting up to gale-force.  Shucks.  "Well, guess we'll have to bundle up!"

We took the bus into town to avoid some of the rain slogging.  We walked around familiar places in the city and finished some shopping while we waited for the sun to go down.  After a pint at the Brew Dock pub, it was dark, we were warm, and our camera was ready.

Christmas lights spell out Baile Atha Cliath or Dublin City
Christmas lights in Dublin
Many of the busy shopping streets are decorated with various lights and decorations.  In the above photo, Baile Atha Cliath (town at the hurdled ford or river crossing) is the modern Irish language word for Dublin City.

 These next photos were taken from O'Connell Street looking down both sides of Henry Street.  Henry is one of the busiest shopping districts on the North side of the River Liffey.  Stalls are set up selling cheap gifties like One Direction stockings and knock-off perfume and cologne gift boxes.

Wreaths of Christmas lights on Henry Street in Dublin
Henry Street
One Direction Christmas Stocking
OMG!!!  It's 1-D!!!

Sparkling Dublin Lights
More sparkling lights
Thanks to Google Auto-Awesome for the added twinkling effect on these photos.  Farther down O'Connell Street, a huge real evergreen tree was set up with a nativity scene in the median of this busy thoroughfare.  Seen on the next photo is a large department store with a red, lighted gift bow.

The Christmas tree and nativity scene in Dublin 2013
O'Connell Street Tree

A red bow on a department store in Dublin
Department Store Bow

Christmas lights spell out Nollaig Shona Duit in Dublin 2013
Nollaig Shona Duit- Happy Christmas to You!
On the North tip of Grafton Street, the busier and more posh shopping street on the South side of the River Liffey, lit chandeliers hang above the street.  Upon entering Grafton, the Irish Christmas greeting Nollaig Shona Duit welcomes tourists and shoppers.  Notice the crowds in the photos.  These photos were taken just after 5:00 p.m. local time here on a Saturday night.  Apparently the travel off-season isn't so off after all!

As Americans, we notice comparatively few private homes are decorated with lights here in Dublin.  Some families have decorated the roof and windows with modest and tasteful lighting, but we have yet to see the garish and over-the-top American-style Christmas lighting with inflatable characters, plastic models, and rotating animated projections on garage doors.  Each neighborhood around Dublin has its own Christmas lighting plan and ceremony.  The community contributes to the holiday spirit instead of individual families competing for the neighborhood Christmas-Light Cup.  We're planning to visit (and share!) more holiday displays as we close in on Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

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