I was today years old when I found out why Dec 8th begins Christmas in Ireland
How I wasn't aware of this sooner I don't know.
I feel like most people associate December 8th as the official start of Christmas.
It was traditionally the day we would put the Christmas tree up in our house and also the biggest shopping day of the year.
As a Dub I always associated it with being the busiest day in town as it was the day that loads of people from outside Dublin would come up to do their shopping.
You wouldn't get a leg in the door of Cleary's on the 8th, but why is it that the 8th became the unofficial day for all of this?
The reason seems to be very simple.
The 8th was originally a holy feast day that children got the day off of school for.
December 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and while no longer considered any type of official holiday day, a few decades ago it was.
Because of this many families would wait until they had the day off on the 8th to do their big Christmas shopping, which was particularly handy for those living outside of the cities.
Having the 8th off menat that families had time to travel to and from places like Dublin and make a real occassion of it.
Growing up in the 90s, the 8th was still a huge shopping day when many would descend on the city for this tradition.
With the advent of online shopping this no longer seems to be the case, which I'll be honest makes me a little sad.
There was always such a buzz in the city come December 8th and it would be heartbreaking if the tradition died out altogether.
If the government are genuinely looking to add more Bank Holidays into the calendar then I think December 8th should be one of them.