Dublin Christmas lights 2019 Switch-On: Bye Bye Tradition

An anti-climatic switch-on takes place this week

Christmas market dublin guide
Photo via dublintown.ie

Since publishing our guide to the Dublin Christmas markets, we’ve had a rake-load of messages asking about the dates for the Dublin Christmas lights 2019 switch-on.

Unfortunately, Dublin no longer has one big switch-on of the city’s Christmas lights.

This is due to two events that took place in 2016 and again in 2017 (you can find info on this below).

In 2019, there’s a more gradual turn-on taking place across the city… sounds very festive altogether, I know…

Dublin Christmas lights 2019
Photo by Tony Pleavin

Dublin Christmas Lights 2019 Switch-On

The Dublin Christmas lights will be switched on from the week beginning November 11th. You can expect Dublin City to be completely lit up by Sunday, November 17th.

That sounds a little vague, I know, but that’s the word that’s coming straight from those organising the switch-on. 

Here’s a Tweet from Dublin Town stating the same.

Christmas Lights Dublin 2019: Why is There no big Switch-On

I always remember there big a big fuss about the switching on of the Dublin Christmas lights when I was a kid.

While we (my Mam and Dad and I) never went into the switch-on, there were always families on our street that’d go in to see the city being lit up.

It was a tradition for many, which is why it’s such a shame that there’s no longer a switching-on event. Heres why:


The demise all started at the 2016 event. Everything was scheduled to take place as normal. There was even a concert scheduled that included Hermitage Green and the cast of the Gaiety Panto due to take to the stage.

Things went downhill when a large crowd turned up to the event, which resulted in Dublin Town, the organisers, having to call the whole thing off.

It’s said that the mild weather resulted in crowds much large than expected attending the event, which had to be called off for health and safety reasons.


2017 was a bit of a disaster, also.

There were two events to mark the switching on of the Dublin Christmas lights, one on O’Connell Street and another on Grafton Street. 

By all accounts, the one of Grafton Street went to plan. However, the one on O’Connell Street was a bit of a mess.

There was a parade that was due to move down O’Connell Street, and thousands of people were waiting to see it arrive. Unfortunately, the street became too congested and the parade couldn’t make its way through the swarms of people.


In 2018, the Dublin Christmas lights were switched on over the course of 30 days via an event called ‘Winter Lights Dublin City’. 

It seems like this went nice and smoothly in 2018, but there’s no similar theme to this years switch on.

Read more about Christmas markets in Dublin in 2019.

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