To Be Irish is inviting the global Irish family to join its Christmas events through December to celebrate the magic of an Irish Christmas with friends and family at home and abroad.
From December 14 through December 25, the global Irish community can discover dazzling light shows, tune in to holiday concerts, brush up on Gaeilge, explore stories from the global Irish family, browse bustling markets, peruse perfect pantos, and so much more across Ireland and abroad with the To Be Irish Christmas programme.
Those traveling home to Ireland this year are encouraged to share their stories with the initiative – To Be Irish wants to make the returned diaspora its guest of honour!
This year’s programme, overseen by Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, T.D., features dozens of events by and for Irish communities taking place around Ireland as well as overseas.
“We are so delighted to celebrate our diaspora returning home once again this year," Minister Brophy said.
“Now in its third year, To be Irish has successfully connected the global Irish community and has opened a window to our shared heritage around the globe.
"This is an exciting opportunity to engage with our diaspora wherever they are and celebrate the best of the Irish Christmas that we treasure.”
Highlights for To Be Irish at Christmas include:
Special commissioned 2022 To Be Irish Christmas E-Card - Nollaig Shona - we’ve also teamed up with illustrator Fuchsia MacAree to create a specially commissioned e-card for people to send to their loved ones to spread a little Irish Christmas cheer. (Digital, available from December 1.)
Back Home: An in-person and live-streamed concert specially organised for everyone who returned home to Ireland in 2022. Hosted by singer-songwriter and Virgin Media presenter Zeinab Elguzouli in the atmospheric surrounds of the EPIC Museum, this feel-good musical celebration will feature headliner Paul Noonan (from Bell X1 and House Plants) alongside a lineup of special guests Patrick Dexter, Cuckoo’s Nest, Aoife Scott, and more. Tickets to attend in person will be available by lottery to anyone who has returned home from abroad - permanently or for the holidays - in 2022. Visit ToBeIrish.ie to share your story for a chance to win tickets! (In-person and online, Wednesday, December 21.)
Distillation: A collaboration between environmental artist Luke Casserly from Longford and renowned perfume maker Joan Woods from Waters + Wild in Cork that offers the chance to bring a bit of the essence of the Irish midlands bog to life with a special parcel sent directly to your home. A gentle invitation to get your nose in, and consider the past, present, and future of the Irish bog landscape.
2022 Unwrapped: A video series catching up with some of the global Irish family who have really made a splash in 2022, like Damian Browne, who recently rowed across the Atlantic from New York to Galway. (Online, will premiere on Wednesday, December 14.)
Highlights from Ireland for To Be Irish at Christmas 2022
Dublin: Dublin Winter Lights - Winter Lights returns to Dublin City in 2022, once again creating a magical festive atmosphere in the city centre by illuminating many of the city’s iconic buildings and bridges. This year, the Festival is being expanded to include a very special new series of lighting projections in various key city centre locations. (In-person, various dates.)
Mayo: Kelly’s Christmas Cranberry Stuffing - Join in with the multi-award-winning Kelly's Butchers from Newport and learn how to make their delicious Christmas Cranberry Stuffing. (Online, Thursday, December 15.)
Dublin: Umoja linn Christmas Market - In partnership with EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum, Umojia linn brings a fun and culture-filled Afro-inspired Christmas Market to Dublin City. The market will feature products by Afro-inspired designers, drumming workshops, Afro-inspired dance workshops, and more. (In-person, Thursday, December 15 and Friday, December 16.)
Dublin: The Long Christmas Dinner - Returning to The Abbey Theatre, enjoy this award-winning, heart-warming production. A gift-wrapped seasonal gem, this meditation on togetherness gives us a moment to pause and reflect on our own families and what Christmas means for each of us. (In-person, various dates.)
Dublin: Lessons and Carols at Christ Church Cathedral - Take a break from the bustling Dublin streets and step into the historic Christ Church Cathedral for a traditional service of music and scripture readings in preparation for Christmas. (In-person, Sunday, December 18.)
Wicklow: Winter Solstice Celebration - Bundle up and celebrate the longest night of the year with an evening of storytelling, sound healing, and nature connection in atmospheric Glendalough. (In-person, Wednesday, December 21.)
Galway: Celtic Tales at The Crane Bar - Settle in and listen to master storyteller and author Rab Fulton as he takes you through an enthralling evening of Irish folktales, myths, and legends. Stick around afterward for some traditional Irish music! (In-person, Thursday, December 15 and Thursday, December 22.)
Limerick: Christmas in Limerick - Pay a visit to the Christmas Village on Arthur’s Quay for an unforgettable day out! Tickle the taste buds with delicious seasonal treats, take a ride on the vintage carousel, strap on your skates and take to the ice rink…you can even pay a visit to the big man himself. (In-person, Thursday, December 15 - Thursday, December 22,)
Cork: Cinderella at the Everyman - With a Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, Cork’s favourite traditional family Panto is back! This year’s Panto Cinderella is the wonderful tale of a girl with a dream, a spell that’s broken at midnight, and a fairy godmother, all with a modern Panto twist. (In person, various dates)
Mayo: Carols at the Castle - Cathal Gavin performing in the iconic location of Ashford Castle. Cathal’s angelic voice is guaranteed to bring festive spirit and joy to your home this Christmas! (Online, Friday, December 23.)
Highlights from abroad for To Be Irish at Christmas 2022
United Kingdom: Ardal O'Hanlon in conversation with Anne Flaherty - Ardal O'Hanlon joins Anne Flaherty at the Irish Cultural Centre in London for a conversation about his second novel, "Brouhaha." (In-person, Wednesday, December 14.)
France: Irish in France Christmas Gathering 2022 - The Irish community in France will get together for a chat, some music, and some drinks for the first time since 2019! (In-person, Thursday, December 15.)
Montréal, Canada: Concordia's School of Irish Studies Yuletide Céilí - Bring your friends, family, and dancing shoes for a céilí featuring traditional Irish music, dance, song, and poetry! (In-person, Friday, December 16.)
South Carolina, USA: Ed Harrison Memorial Celtic Christmas - Honour the Irish and Scottish roots of the Appalachian region with traditional Celtic music, featuring nationally acclaimed performer Jamie Laval. (In-person, Saturday, December 17.)
Minnesota, USA: Celtic Holiday Hooley - A hosted variety show with Irish music, sketches, step dance, caroling, and more at the Celtic Junction Arts Center in St. Paul, MN. (In-person, Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17.)
Worldwide: Cóisir na Nollag 2022 - Let’s Learn Irish, the online Irish language community, is hosting Cóisir na Nollag 2022, an online party that promises to be a great opportunity for Irish learners from around the world to meet ‘trí Ghaeilge’. (Online, Sunday, December 20.)