Christmas has been extended this year for the people living in Galway with the Market arriving earlier and staying later. There is no better way to get into the festive mood than with a walk about the stalls, supporting local traders, and feasting on Christmassy treats while the lights twinkling around you.
To help celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, SIN representatives interviewed a few of the market traders to see how they felt about being back in the stalls at the Christmas Market.
First up we have the Man of Aran Fudge who keeps the locals and tourists’ sweet tooth satisfied over the festive season. With a wide selection of fudge made on the Aran Islands, Tomás Póil is a Galway Christmas Market regular.
When asked was he excited to be back for the 2023 season he said; “I’m so grateful that people are spending their hard-earned money on my fudge. When I started, it used to be all about the money for me, but now it’s just about fun and appreciation.”
Yvonne Sheragashi from The Olive Tree is spreading the cheer with her handcrafted olive tree nativity scenes and decorations. The stall was full to the brim with beautifully carved pieces of olive tree depicting the rise of Christmas.
Eager to be back with the other traders Yvonne said, “I’m very excited to work here at the Christmas Market, it’s good craic, lovely people. I like the work that I’m selling because it’s all handcrafted, so I really appreciate that.”
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without giving back to the community, and the last stall interviewed are set on doing just that. Aoife and Aoife have taken a hut for the week to raise awareness and raise funds for Jigsaw Galway as part of the initiative to support young people aged 12 to 25 with their mental health.
The Jigsaw team are new to the Market this year as Aoife explained; “this is our first time ever doing it, and actually it was as a result of our Youth Advocates. One of the things they identified last year was that they’d like to be present in the Market, and raise awareness and raise funds.
“We have a raffle that’s being funded by Lidl and also Starbucks, and so some people are just donating money and some are buying tickets for the raffle”. They said they are excited to be a part of the Market while also supporting our community.
Why don’t you take the time to explore the Christmas Market if you haven’t already and meet the local traders who make the winter wonderland possible each season? The huts, crafts, carousel, and Big Wheel are in Eyre Square until 9 January 2024 so there is plenty of time to stick on your Santa hat and experience Eyre Square in the height of its Christmassy glory.
Hannah Martin is a Photography Co-Editor for Student Independent News for the year 2023/2024. Hannah is currently a Third Year student in Global Media and is enjoying a year of internships. She participates as a writing contributor, and mainly writes features but has branched out a few times into other areas.