Dec 25: A truly international Christmas

GEAI members and volunteers may be involved in the campaign against global warming but they certainly increased their carbon footprint this Christmas!  One of the surprising features of  GEAI is the number of members who are not originally from Ireland, and the number of local Leitrim people is definitely in the minority.   And, no more than our own Irish emigrants who came back to Ireland, our members travelled home (or at least out of Leitrim) at Christmas-time.  This week, members are back from Belgium, Portugal, Spain, UK (London) and Hungary.

What an eclectic group!  All have stories to tell and the stories about customs in different countries are fascinating.  Do you know that, in Ukraine, Christmas is hardly celebrated at all?  The real Ukrainian religious festival is on 6th January and marks the end of a 40-day fast.  The festival goes on for two days and gifts are given, no doubt in memory of the three Wise Men that came from the East.  Because today is 6th January, our Ukrainian volunteer Olga will prepare a traditional Ukrainian dinner to mark the day.  In Ireland, 6th January is Little Christmas or Nollag na mBan, so we will combine the two traditions by providing Irish hospitality in its truest form and celebrate in style!

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