The pedestrian bridge, with the rainbow lights, is the The Millennium Bridge spanning the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland, joining Eustace Street in Temple Bar to the north quays.
I eat at the Eatokyo Restaurant and one of the staff asked why we say Happy Christmas rather than Merry Christmas and why we do not refer to the day after Christmas as Boxing Day.
Christmas in Ireland is the annual festival which marks the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus and its related observances, but also incorporates some pre-Christian customs. These customs range from the traditional food and drink consumed, decorations and rituals, as well as more modern phenomena such as the Christmas day swim and annual television and radio events. The modern Irish Christmas has become more similar to that of the British and American festive period, with emphasis on gift buying and parties.
Historically, for Irish Catholics, the festive period began on 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, with many putting up their decorations and Christmas trees on that day, and runs through until 6 January, or Little Christmas. In modern times, The Late Late Toy Show, on the last Friday of November is viewed as the beginning of the Christmas festive period.
The greeting for "Happy Christmas" in Irish is Nollaig Shona Duit [singular] or Nollaig Shona Daoibh. The literal translation of this is "Happy Christmas to you".
In parts of Europe, such as several regions of Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, and Ireland, 26 December is Saint Stephen's Day, which is considered the second day of Christmas.
It is claimed that it was originally “Merry Christmas,” as in the old carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”. However, in the 17th century, Christmas was neither merry nor happy as it was illegal. Puritans in England banned the holiday as licentious, a non-biblical holdover from pagan times. Some historians attribute commentators have attributed the British preference for “happy Christmas” to the use of the expression by the royal family in annual Christmas broadcasts. King George V began the practice in his 1932 Christmas radio message, written by Rudyard Kiplin. I assume that Happy Christmas is used in Ireland as it is a translation of Nollaig Shona Duit,