Christmas Lights in Ireland

Irish Typepad via Flickr

It wasn’t too long ago that a single lit candle in a window was enough to show Christmas hospitality and goodwill. It is still the practice for many, although bigger electric light displays are appearing more often, especially in more populated areas. Dublin certainly is lit up this time of year. I’m not sure, but I think it’s likely that massive (some would say excessive) light shows began in the US. Ever since President Cleveland lit up the White House Christmas tree with electric bulbs in 1894, Americans have been stringing lights wherever we can. We like a lot of lights, all kinds of lights, all colors.


Controversy in Ireland

There has been a lot of conversation on the web this year about a practice that many people object to. It’s not giant blow-up cartoon characters who are deflated during the day or laser lights bouncing around the front of a house—two things I’ve seen Americans disparaging lately on Facebook. It’s the color of the lights that some Irish people are complaining about. Big time complaining with words that aren’t exactly keeping with the Christmas spirit.

Sebastian Dooris via Flickr

The issue is blue lights. True blue. The color that people associate with law enforcement sirens. The color that shouts, “Emergency!” Some say it’s moody, rather than cheery. Others think the lights cast a creepy nighttime glow over all the decorations.

Luis Avilesortiz via Flickr

What’s a Christmas Color?

Valerie Lam via flickr

I’ve heard it said that the only proper colors of Christmas are red and green, like holly and Santa’s suit and Christmas trees. Well, okay yellow too, like the glow from a fireplace. And white, the color of snow, which everyone likes at Christmas. Frosty blue (a pale shade) might be acceptable too. Purple is the church’s color for the season of Advent, and is the color of royalty (as in King Jesus.) So truly there are many colors of Christmas. The real question for some is why this bold, blinding blue light? It seems to widespread in Ireland.


I heard it mentioned that this shade was the cheapest in LED lights available. I don’t know if that’s true. I have a strand of blue-ish LED lights that are not police-blue. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


Why Not Celebrate Light Diversity?

In the meantime, celebrate in the best way you know how. And if the shade of your neighbor’s display bothers you, build your own to cast a different light in the night sky.


Happy, merry Christmas, everyone!

Cindy Thomson is the author of eight books. Pages of Ireland is the sequel to her popular novel Brigid of Ireland. She is also the author of the Ellis Series, and writes for genealogy magazines. The past is her passion as she writes from her home in Ohio. Visit her at, on Facebook at and on Twitter: @cindyswriting.



Author: Cindy

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

The Irish Fireside E-Newsletter features articles and links relating to Irish travel, storytelling, and culture.

* indicates required

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This