Get to know Irish culture and traditions
2018 was a record year for tourism in Ireland with 11.2m visitors, an increase of 6% on 2017. This is no surprise with everything amazing country has to offer, from stunning scenery, a rich cultural vibrancy and historical significance, year-round festivals and sporting events and of course that infamous warm Irish welcome! Irish culture and traditions are known across the world and whilst millions celebrate and enjoy Irish traditions and culture, they may not be aware of their origins. How many do you know about?
Saint Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day in honour of the patron saint the day is named after and is celebrated across the globe. It falls every year on the 17th March and is a national holiday in Ireland and has also become a popular holiday in the United States.
It is believed St. Patrick, a Roman-Britain-born Christian missionary, born in the late fourth century brought Christianity to the Irish people. Many people wear green on this day and the shamrock, pots of gold, and leprechauns are also associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrating St Patrick’s day in Ireland is an enjoyable and unforgettable experience, demonstrating the pride Irish people have in their magnificent country and culture
The Shamrock is an emblem synonymous with Saint Patrick and Ireland and has a very long and colourful tradition. Wearing the Shamrock on Saint Patrick’s Day symbolises many things to different people including national pride, religion, history, celebration.
The Shamrock plant can be found growing wild throughout Ireland and the tradition of wearing it on St Patrick’s day can be traced back to the 1700s. It is said that Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity, (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), to the pagan Irish during the 5th Century.
Irish music and dancing
Throughout Irish culture, music and dancing play a great part. It is very common to find live music playing in the local pubs in Ireland with singing and dancing as well. The fiddle and guitar are popular instruments played as well as traditional Irish instruments like bouzoukis, the Uilleann pipes and the Celtic harp, which is also the official symbol of Ireland.
Irish dancing takes many forms including jigs, reels, step dancing and ceili dance. Riverdance brought Irish dancing to the masses in the 1990s but traditional Irish dancing has been culturally important in Ireland for centuries.
Sporting traditions and events are of great cultural and national significance in Ireland. The most popular Gaelic game is Gaelic football and Ireland’s history with football goes all the way back to the 14th Century
Another popular Gaelic game is Hurling. Dating back to over 3,000 years ago and the Celts, the game is associated with warriors for the Hurley stick used in the game was an ancient warrior weapon. Like Gaelic football, the version of the game played today evolved in the late 19th Century and is popular with many nations worldwide.
Irish writing has influenced literature across the world with so many great writers coming from there. There are too many to mention but what about Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, Oscar Wilde, a beautifully witty playwright, Bram Stoker, author of Dracula and C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Playwrights from Ireland include George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and great poets such as W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney.
Ireland has a rich cultural history which is appreciated around the world. However, there is no better way to experience it than by going there to visit or study. It is a very popular choice for international students wanting to learn English with an increase of 8% in the 2017-18 academic year when compared to the year before.
The Trinity Academy of Languages
Based in the wonderful town of Dún Laoghaire, 12km (7.5 miles) from Dublin City centre is the Trinity Academy of Languages, a language school providing English language courses for adults and young learners. With a great choice of courses and accommodation options with homestay families, The Trinity Academy of Languages has everything you are looking for in a language school.
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