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Monday 24 October 2016

The 12 Pubs has become as traditional as Christmas Day Mass is for another generation.

Published 11/12/2013 | 15:57

GROWN men running around in silly jumpers, downing pints, singing horrific renditions of Fairytale of New York and dancing gangnam style to East 17’s Stay Another Day.

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Yes, it is the season to be jolly and while many will be preoccupied with frivolous gift shopping this weekend, a whole cohort of the city’s population will be attempting to visit as many pubs as Santa Claus does houses.

This is The 12 Pubs of Christmas: Entry is at your own risk.

I don’t want to shy away from the fact that we have a drink problem in this country – but also let’s not ignore the fact that we’ve built an entire tourism industry on the idea that we’re ‘great craic’.

And there is no better time to prove it than at Christmas. When everybody else is in high spirits, we still try to be the brightest shinning star.

Some pubs in the capital are not so keen on the business though. Publicans, who spent 11 months of the year complaining about the decline in trade, snubbing paying customers?

Bah humbug to them.

The 12 Pubs has become as traditional as Christmas Day Mass is for another generation.

Is it not great to see how capital flowing with colourful characters as bars as swelled with people willing to splash that extra bit of cash?

Of course some will go too far. Mobile phones will be lost, clothing will be dispensed with and the City Council will lose a few traffic cones.

But isn’t that a small price to pay if for one night only we can party like the time when everybody used to get a Christmas bonus.

The rules for The 12 Pubs are pretty simple. It’s not a case of last man standing. In the spirit of the season it’s a team game. It’s about trying to get as many of your group to the end of the trail. Dropouts are more likely to be serenaded Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas than anything else.

An online search suggests that the tradition started around 2007 but nobody I can find really knows where the bar hopping antic originated.

The preparation involves stapling horrendous decorations to jumpers, studying maps online in case we get temporarily lost along the way and for any wise men a steak dinner.

Of course, it doesn’t suit the person looking for a quiet tipple but there are 51 weeks of the year for that.

Some will argue that it encourages binge drinking but still in the coming days I will meet people that I haven’t seen since the same time last year. The banter will flow, seasonal diets will be mocked and while heads might be a little bit sore on Sunday, I’m sure there will be some suitably naff Christmas flick on the TV.



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