Christmas is a vibrant and joyous festival celebrated with the utmost zeal all over the world. The event is equally an enthusiastic festivity for the dwellers of Cork. A strange yet magnificent wave of happiness swirls around the natives upon the arrival of the holiday season. Everyone has an enchanting smile on their faces as they pass by the strangers. The Christmas trees, adorned and embellished over the course of weeks, are now in their full bloom.
This jolly atmosphere accompanies some unique activities specific to Cork – from the popular glow festival to St. Stephan’s day out. You can experience these exuberant events if you choose to spend this year’s holiday season right here in Cork. Or else if you’re an occupant of this amazing city, you should also get to know the upcoming activities around you, so as to enjoy each one of them to the fullest:
Significance of Christmas in Cork
Although much of the traditions in Ireland are similar to those all over the world, Cork certainly comes up with its unique norms. The activities you would witness on Christmas have a great degree of distinction. The Irish culture of celebrating Christmas itself dates back to the mid 19th century. The exquisite blend of modernity and originality you might observe here is basically an outcome of various transformations over the years.
Now for things to do in Cork at Christmas. We’ve listed out these incredible activities you can vigorously partake in during your holiday stay at Cork:
1. Set up a Christmas Tree
The most significant activity in Cork necessarily remains the one which is commonly observed everywhere in the world; setting up a beautiful Christmas tree.
Now we’re sure you must’ve been planning to bring it weeks before Christmas, and that’s the very norm followed all over the world. But you must imply the legitimate ways to prolong the lifespan of your tree. Place your tree in a sturdy water stand to keep it fresh, fragrant, and hydrated. Also, adorn it with vibrant ornaments and colorful lights.
You might have seen some candles being lit on Christmas Eve in the windows across the Cork. That’s an old Irish tradition dating back to the 19th century and most of the Cork residents still follow it passionately. Together these candles with the embellished trees enchant the aura of the entire atmosphere ensuring some magical experience.
2. The Glow Cork Festival
The glow festival is a distinguished Christmas event in Cork and perhaps the most noteworthy one in entire Ireland. The event named “Glow: A Cork Christmas Celebration”, on a very basic level, is a Christmas market with vibrant lights and a plethora of things to do. The festival is held every year as a countdown to Christmas and accompanies multiple events.
What is Glow Cork All About?
The Cork Christmas market is organized in Bishop Lucy Park on Grand Parade Street. The festival escorts vastly colorful markets and lots of shows & performances. It typically spans over more or less 2 weeks and ends on welcoming Christmas eve. Since the market is set up in the central city, the heart of Cork looks like a Christmas dream world during the entire event.
What to Expect in 2021 Glow Cork?
A “reimagined” Cork Christmas market was launched in 2020 in an attempt to blend creativity within the lines of tradition. And to be fairly honest, everyone out there witnessed a remarkable change. The same, or in fact, the better can be expected this time around as well. Let’s dissect some important events we anticipate seeing in the 2021 Glow Cork festival:
Grand Parade Markets
Grand Parade, right in the heart of the city, is the most desirable place to be at Cork Festival. It is the very place where all the markets, stalls, and other amusement chores are set up. There are some cool rides for kids and grownups alike, such as a big Ferris wheel for grownups, a mini-Ferris wheel for kids, and a merry-go-round for both.
Furthermore, you can buy cute little train toys (Christmas-themed north pole express), Santa’s workshop, and hand-crafted gifts & decorations.
Bishop Lucey Park
Between Grand Parade and South Main Streets, Bishop Lucey Park is situated. The aura of this readily charming park is further enhanced by Christmas ornaments, typically elf-themed but the theme may vary with the year. The thing that remains consistent is the matchless enjoyment and never-ending fun out of this magical transformation of the park.
The Cork Christmas market is expected to run from the last week of November all the way till December 24th or so. Since it’s all about “glow” and “lighting”, the festival takes place in the afternoon (after 4 pm to be precise). However, the stalls start to open by noon.
3. Blarney Castle
Aside from the cheerful Glow festival, you can “visit Santa” Blarney Castle during the entire month of December. The kids would absolutely love enchantment right there since Santa is one of the focused attractions of Christmas for children. So, take the kids more often to Blarney Castle during your stay in Cork and offer them the utmost enjoyment of Christmas.
4. The Irish St. Stephen’s Festival
The “St. Stephen’s Night out” is an exclusively Irish event followed by the equally distinctive “St. Stephen’s Day”, commonly known as Day of the Wren in Ireland. For the night out, it’s all about pubs and bars. You will find many traditional Irish pubs on the roadside as you stroll around the grand parade.
5. A Day out on 26th
As for St. Stephen’s Day, the huge lane of clubs, venues, and theatres through the narrow streets of Cork create an incredible landscape of the city in the daytime. So, be ready to plunge into the ambiance of Cork on 26th December.
The day after Christmas also marks the beginning of the sales season in Cork. Find your way into different localities and explore the markets – from enjoying the traditional Irish breakfast, snacks, cakes, and pudding to visiting museums, parks, and pubs. There’s a lot to experience in Cork central city.