St. Patrick – St Patrick is credited to bringing, or broadening Christianity in Ireland and we celebrate his life for this, the faith he brought has been the reason for a legacy of strife. St. Patrick was not from Ireland but was captured and taken there as a slave.
The shamrock is associated with Ireland because of the legend surround Saint Patrick and how he taught the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. The people could not understand and so he reached down and pulled out a common plant, the shamrock with one stem. He held it up and said there is only one stem, but three leaves. The four -leaf clover is often confused with the shamrock. While the four-leaf clover is a symbol of good luck, the three-leafed shamrock is mainly an Irish Christian symbol of the Holy Trinity and has a different significance.
Irish Marriage & Divorce: Although the first divorce ever granted in Ireland was in 1997, up until the 1920’s, couples in Ireland could legally be married on St. Brigid’s Day (February 1st) in Teltown, County Meath, by walking towards each other. They could divorce on St. Brigid’s day the following year by walking away from each other at the same spot. Keep in mind though –
Medieval laws in Ireland allowed a man to divorce his wife if she damaged his honor through infidelity, thieving or “making a mess of everything.”
Erin go braugh is a phonetic version of “Éirinn go brách,” which in Irish (Gaelic) means “Ireland Forever.” It was an Irish blessing used to express allegiance to Ireland.
For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. Its powers are unquestioned but its story still creates debate.
Once upon a time, visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, we are rather more cautious of the safety of our visitors. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk. The prize is a real one as once kissed the stone bestows the gift of eloquence.
Other Fun Facts
If you are searching for the city with the longest name in Ireland, look no further than Muckanaghederdauhaulia. Located in County Galway, try saying that name five times fast. Muckanaghederdauhaulia means “pig-marsh between two saltwaters.”
If you loved the movie “Babe,” you will enjoy knowing that back in the olden days, a pig often lived in the house with the family on an old Irish farm. Considered a part of the family, he was often known as “the gentleman who pays the rent.” One has to wonder if these little gentlemen were house trained. And if the family avoided cooking and eating bacon in front of them.
Irish Windmills: Windmills around the world always turn in a counter-clockwise direction… except for the windmills in Ireland which turn clockwise
Tallest Irish Twins: The tallest identical twins in recorded history were the Knipe Brothers from Magherafelt in County Derry, Ireland. The Knipe Brothers, born in 1761, were 7′ 2″ tall.
Irish blood runs thick in American leadership. According to various historians, well over 40% of the United States’ past presidents have some Irish ancestry. Barack Obama is Irish: his great great grandfather came from Moneygall, County Offaly, Ireland.
Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland is where the famous Titanic ship was built.
An odd Irish birthday tradition is to lift the birthday child upside down and give his head a few gentle bumps on the floor for good luck. The number of bumps should allegedly correspond to the child’s age plus one.
The Irish tricolor flag, created in 1848, was designed to reflect the country’s political realities. Orange stands for Irish Protestants, green for Irish Catholics and the white stripe for the hope that peace might eventually be reached between them.
Craic . . . first of all, it is pronounced “Crack”. Put simply, having craic is having a good time or a laugh. However, due to an unfortunate similarity in pronunciation with a well-known and illegal narcotic substance, not everyone gets the right idea about it.
May your neighbors respect you, Troubles neglect you, The angels protect you, And Heaven accept you.
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