A very Happy Christmas & best wishes for 2023

The National Museum of Ireland's YouTube channel featured this short film about some politically-charged Christmas cards made by Celtic Revival artist Art Ó Murnaghan in 1917. The film is narrated by one of the Museum's educators Courtney McKee. It includes other examples of Christmas cards being politicised.

Another museum, this time the British Museum, had another short film with a festive theme, looking at how different cultures celebrated and celebrate at this time of year - Roman Saturnalia, medieval Europe and more modern China. There are same very entertaining animated images as well as objects from the museum's collections.

MOLI (the Museum of Literature Ireland) has this festive ghost story - Hertford O’Donnell’s Warning written in 1867 by Charlotte Riddell (1832-1906) and performed by Kathy Rose O’Brien. You can find other festive ghost stories on MOLI's website too including last year's which was by Elizabeth Bowen. And read more about Carrickfergus-born Riddell's very interesting life here.

And finally, one of the highlights of our 2022 Festival was the reading of an open letter written from West Cork on 17 December 1846 and published in the London Times on Christmas Eve that year. Standing at Reen Farm, Bob Geldof read for us the letter written by NM Cummins describing the terrible scenes of suffering by famine victims that he had witnessed at that same location. It's good to be reminded at this time of year that people continue to suffer from the effects of famine in many parts of the world.