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The berries are the drops of blood that were shed by Jesus because of the thorns. In pagan times, Holly was thought to be a male plant and Ivy a female plant.

An old tradition from the Midlands of England says that whatever one was brought into the house first over winter, tells you whether the man or woman of the house would rule that year!

Welcome to Irish Culture and Customs, a labor of love we began several years ago.

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A 2,000-year voyage on a quest to learn as much as we can about everything Irish.

So here's where we are so far - more than 700 pages that range from Irish poetry, superstitions , Kids Stories and recipes to specific Irish calendar celebrations such as St.

Dating Dating usually starts in the teenage years, although some kids at primary school age are now having boy and girl friends from the age of 8 years and upwards.

Traditionally, girls used to wait for the lads to make the first move, but these days equality rules.

Just as today a woman's wedding was one of the most important days of her life.

The major difference to Elizabethan wedding customs to a modern day Western marriage is that the woman had very little, if any, choice in who her husband might be.

But it was unlucky to bring either into a house before Christmas Eve.

Ivy has to cling to something to support itself as it grows.

The UK and Germany were the main countries to keep the use of the greenery as decorations.

Here are the Christian meanings: The prickly leaves represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified.

Nowadays, there are a bunch of books with a similar title, adapted to newer times.

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