Lord Mayor Hazel Chu announced the Christmas programme at the Mansion House

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, has officially announced this year’s Christmas at the Mansion House programme for the festive period.

Activities will include the 12 Days of a Christmas Carol, the IFA Live Animal Crib, and the Christmas Day dinner. The Mansion House will also be holding the Rewind 2020 interfaith gathering in the Lord Mayor’s garden.

This series of inter-faith gatherings will celebrate the religious festivals we missed during 2020, with each day dedicated to a different faith – Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish, Hindu, Baha’l, Muslim, and Christian.

‘This is a very welcome move by the Lord Mayor, who is recognising our rich diversity in the Mansion House for the first time in this way at this most special time of the year,’ said Adrian Cristea of Dublin City Interfaith Forum.

The IFA Live Animal Crib will also be returning and will be open to the public from today. It has been a joint venture between Dublin City Council and the Irish Farmers’ Association since 1995. The crib has been reconfigured so people will not walk into it, but will view the animals through enlarged windows at the front of the crib.

The gatherings will go ahead every day from December 8 to December 14 from 1pm to 1.30pm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance will be decided on by the faiths involved but all ceremonies will be broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube.

Pic: Conor McCabe Photography. extra.ie

“I know there’s a lot of things that won’t be normal this Christmas, but I was determined the Crib would be back this year”, said the Lord Mayor Hazel Chu. “It’s 25 years since it was first launched and in that time it has become a Dublin tradition. Many of the children who come in often don’t get to see animals like this up close. We will of course be doing things a little different at the Mansion House this year but I’m delighted to say the Crib is back.”

IFA President Tim Cullinan said he was delighted that arrangements could be made to have the Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House. “I would like to thank everybody who has made this possible, especially given the year we have had. It’s a wonderful partnership between ourselves and the Lord Mayor’s office. We see it as a gift to the people of Dublin who can enjoy a traditional Nativity scene as part of their visit to our capital city”.

Since The Mansion House cannot welcome people inside its doors this year for pre-Christmas celebrations, the Lord Mayor will be inviting you to join her for ‘12 days of a Christmas Carol’. This is an online event which will feature a number of well-known faces reading a different chapter of the Charles Dickens tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ every evening at 7pm starting on December 13 and continuing right up until Christmas Eve. You can view it on the Lord Mayor Facebook page, the Lovin Dublin Facebook page, and on Dublin.ie

Joining the Lord Mayor will be a number of special guests from various walks of Irish life including sport, music and entertainment and of course the man himself Santa Claus.

Last, but not least, Christmas Day will see the Lord Mayor will be handing out Christmas dinners to the homeless in the forecourt and garden of the Mansion House alongside the Knights of St. Columbanus.

This event usually takes place at the RDS but is not happening this year due to COVID-19. Instead, dinners will be delivered to people at various locations and the Lord Mayor offered the use of the Mansion House grounds.