This month we’ll be “travelling” to Ireland since its St Patricks Day this month and TODAY!!!
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic to the west of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St Georges Channel, and after which it is the largest island of the British Isles. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth. Dublin is the capital and largest city
The island’s geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the Middle Ages. Below is the Emerald Island
The flag of Ireland has three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange. This tricolor is also the symbol of the Irish nation in other countries, most notably in Northern Ireland among the Irish national minority. Green is the color associated worldwide with Irishness, but within Ireland, and especially in Northern Ireland, it is more closely associated with being both Irish and Roman Catholic, whereas orange is the color associated with Protestantism, and more especially with Northern Irish people who support Loyalism to the British crown and continued union with Great Britain
The harp is the principal symbol on the national coat of arms, and the badge of the Irish state is the shamrock. Many symbols of Irish national identity derive in part from their association with religion and church.
The shamrock clover is associated with Ireland’s patron Saint Patrick, and with the Holy Trinity of Christian belief.
Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17th) is Ireland’s official national day. It is a national holiday and festival parades are held in towns and cities all around the country.
The Irish landscape has many places of natural beauty and historical significance, which have influenced the artistic, cultural and literary nature of its people for thousands of years. Heritage Ireland website is designed to introduce you to some of the many rich and varied attractions of Ireland’s heritage.
Music is an intrinsic part of Irish culture from the traditional Irish song and ballads in the past to our world famous modern musicians such as U2, Van Morrison and The Corrs. Dancing has always been part of Ireland’s culture and traditional dance has been revolutionised by the success of Riverdance.
The pub is traditionally the favoured place for socialising and ‘going for a pint’ is something of a national pastime’. There are over 10,000 pubs in Ireland, many offering live traditional and modern music as well as pub-grub (food). All pubs and restaurants in Ireland are now smoke-free zones.
Gaelic football, hurling and camogie are very popular, traditional sports exclusive to Ireland and the Irish communities abroad. Fishing, sailing, horse racing, shooting, windsurfing, hill walking are all well supported and recognised sports.
There are three World Heritage Sites on the island: the Brú na Boinne, Skellig Michael and the Giant’s Causeway. Some of the most visited sites in Ireland include Bunratty Castle, the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, Holy Cross Abbey and Blarney Castle.
Folklore – As part of Irish mythology and folklore the Leprechauns are part of our faerie folk, called by some as the “wee folk”. As a cousin of the clurichaun they are known to inhabited Ireland well before the arrival of the Celts.Small enough for one to sit comfortable on your shoulder they are very smartly dressed in small suites with waist coats, hats and buckled shoes.
As mischievous and intelligent folk they are general harmless to the general population in Ireland, although they are known to play the odd trick on farmers and local population of villages and towns.
It is said that every Leprechaun has a pot of gold, hidden deep in the Irish countryside. To protect the leprechaun’s pot of gold the Irish fairies gave them magical powers to use if ever captured by a human or an animal. Such magic an Irish leprechaun would perform to escape capture would be to grant three wishes or to vanish into thin air!
Leprechauns are also very keen musicians who play tin whistles, the fiddle and even the Irish Harp and various other Irish traditional instruments. They are known to have wild music sessions at night which in Ireland are known as Ceili’s with hundreds of Irish leprechauns gathering to dance, sing and drink.
The leprechaun is fond of drinking Poteen, moonshine, but must not be mistaken by their Irish cousins the cluricauns who are drunken creatures who love to cause chaos around Ireland at night time, a headache for us humans.
He goes on to tell the story of a woman who had been spirited away by the Faeries and had been returned seven years later minus her toes. She had danced them off!!!
The famous 1959 movie Darby O’Gill and the little people show us a great example of who the Leprechauns are and how we vision them. We’ve found a great clip of this movie that you can watch below, click on the play button to start watching.
Coddle is an Irish dish which is often made to use up leftovers, and therefore without a specific recipe. However, it most commonly consists of layers of roughly sliced pork sausages and rashers (thinly sliced, somewhat fatty back bacon) with sliced potatoes and onions. Traditionally, it can also include barley.
Barmbrack , also called Barnbrack or often shortened to brack, is a yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins.
Boxty , meaning “poor-house bread is a traditional Irish potato pancake. The dish is mostly associated with the north midlands, north Connacht and southern Ulster, in particular the counties of Mayo, Sligo, Donegal (where it is known locally as poundy or poundies; also known as potato bread in Ulster), Fermanagh, Longford, Leitrim and Cavan. There are many recipes but all contain finely grated, raw potatoes and all are served fried
Colcannon , meaning white-headed cabbage is a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. It is also the name of a song about the dish.
Hope you all have enjoyed