In the spirit of the holidays, we wanted to examine some of our family Christmas traditions and explore which ones our Irish ancestors would recognize. Family Christmas traditions are practices and customs that evolve over the years, they adapt with changing family, cultural and historical dynamics, and they adapt as families find themselves in new corners of the world and with new members. These traditions are ones that we have grown up with – Meaghan in Cape Breton and Peggy in Alberta. We also believe that these are Christmas traditions at the core of many holiday celebrations for families of Irish decent.
Although Irish migration began in the 1700’s and has maintained a steady flow throughout the centuries, it was Great Irish Famine of the nineteenth century that triggered one of the greatest population displacements of modern times. From the years 1845-1855, approximately 2.5 million people fled or succumbed to the human tragedy that was the Great Famine. The majority sought refuge across the Atlantic, landing on North American shores, forever linking the two sides of the Atlantic. This is the first of a new series, that we hope will provide a better understanding of the lives of your ancestors and will inform your future heritage travel.
Like us, more and more travellers are focusing their holidays on exploring family history and embarking on what’s called ‘heritage travel’. It is all about combining the challenges, excitement and fun of a vacation with a history lesson. As you may be expecting planning your own heritage vacation takes a little bit of research to get the most out of your travels. Here are our tips to get started!