St Patrick’s day is a day for donning some ridiculous leprechaun memorabilia and celebrating our little country. To help get you in a patriotic mood here are ten fun facts about Ireland!
The shamrock is a symbol commonly associated with Ireland, but this is not accidental. In 1981 Ireland lost a trademark case with Germany relating to the use of the shamrock symbol. Four years later Ireland won an appeal to use the shamrock as the national symbol. Despite this the official symbol of Ireland is actually the harp making Ireland the only country to use a musical instrument as a national symbol or emblem.
Easter Rising Ceasefire
During the Easter Rising fighting was ceased temporarily each day for the ducks. Shooting was stopped by both sides to allow the park-keeper to enter St Stephen’s Green and feed the ducks.
In the name of the pub
Ever wondered why so many pub names originate from actual names? This is due to a law passed in 1872 that meant it was actually a legal requirement for a pub owner to display their name over the door.
On the topic of names, if your surname has a traditional Irish prefix then it may relate to the Irish translation. Mac or Mc mean ‘son of’ while Nic or Ní refer to ‘daughter of’. The common surname starter O’ means ‘descendant’.
Pints… of tea?
The Irish might be associated with Guinness but actually we are only third in the world for Guinness consumption. Britain and Nigeria take the first and second spots respectively. You might want to pop the kettle on though because our tea drinking habits are ranked second in worldwide. One study suggested that the average Irish person drinks 1,460 cups of tea in one year!
Newgrange is older than Stonehenge
Celtic history is a rich landscape evidenced by the many ruins that remain on our island. One of the most famous of these is Newgrange. The passage tomb is over 5,000 years old meaning it dates even further back than Stonehenge.
The Irish White House
It’s not just the American president that has Irish links but also his not-so-humble-abode! The White House was designed by the Irish architect James Hoban. On the topic of presidential pride it would be shameful of me to overlook the infamous Barack Obama Plaza located in Tipperary!
When it comes to performing on a global stage Ireland’s Eurovision record is a knockout. Ireland have won the Eurovision seven times since 1965. This is more than any other country.
St Patrick might be the man of the moment, but St Valentine also has an Irish connection (him and half the world apparently!). The remains of St Valentine are buried under Whitefriar Church in Dublin.
When public health guidelines allow, St Patrick’s day parades take place all over the country and the world. Surprisingly the very first St Patrick’s day parade did not actually take place here on our Emerald Isle. Instead, the tradition is believed to have started in New York City way back in 1762.
Did you learn some new facts about Ireland?