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10 Amazing Facts You Don’t Know About Ireland

By Jennifer Murphy April 20, 2021 0 comments

Ireland is an interesting country. There are so many important facts about Ireland because after all, this is a country with a rich history and traditions. In this post, we talk about lots of good things about Ireland, others are simply random facts about Ireland, and others, well, others are some weird Irish facts we had no idea about.

The Patron Saint (St. Patrick) Isn’t Irish

1. The Patron Saint (St. Patrick) Isn’t Irish

Contrary to popular belief, and despite being the Patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was not actually from Ireland. Born in Wales around 386 AD, (which makes him a British) Captured by Irish pirates and shipped to Ireland at 16, he was in fact captured by the Irish and sold into slavery, working as a shepherd in the West of Ireland He was a slave in Ireland for six years working as a sheepherder. St. Patrick then spent 15 years in the priesthood but returned to Ireland as a missionary. He is honored for converting Ireland to Christianity around AD 400s.

2. It’s the Harp, not the Shamrock

Surprise, surprise! While the shamrock is quintessentially Irish, it’s the harp that rightfully deserves the title! Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument as its national symbol. You can visit some of the oldest harps in the world at Trinity College in Dublin.

Irish Musical Instrument
Nigerians drink

3. Nigerians drink more Guinness than the Irish

Ireland isn’t the biggest seller of Guinness. Guinness is a famous Irish drink known as the shamrock. And it’s “just” one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. The harp rose to become the national Irish symbol in 1922 when Ireland separated from the United Kingdom. It’s brewed in 50 countries, sold in more than 120, and has been around since 1759.

While Ireland is home to THE Guinness, more of it is sold in Nigeria and in Britain – leaving Ireland in third place!

4. There were never any snakes in Ireland

Another surprising fact about Ireland? While many old wines will tell the tale of St. Patrick banishing snakes from Ireland, the truth is that there have never been wild snakes on the island of Ireland. Being an island helped greatly with this, since the snakes inhabiting Britain were never able to make it across the water!

5. Want to become a “Bestseller Artist”? Go to Ireland!

To become a “bestselling” musician, one only needs to sell 5,000 copies of an album. For writers, the magic number is 3,000 books.

6. Halloween originated in Ireland

Another fun fact about Ireland: Halloween as we know it today actually originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when the people would light bonfires and wear scary costumes to ward off unwelcome spirits. Samhain is an old Gaelic word which translates to ‘darker half’, thus marking the beginning of winter. Halloween originated from SAMHAIN (pronounced SAW-WHEN), an Irish festival. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of winter and the end of the harvest season. Livestock was said to be slaughtered around this time. Souls were believed to visit their families too.

7. Less than 10% of the Irish population are redheads

Another fun fact about Ireland: Halloween as we know it today actually originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when the people would light bonfires and wear scary costumes to ward off unwelcome spirits. Samhain is an old Gaelic word which translates to ‘darker half’, thus marking the beginning of winter. Halloween originated from SAMHAIN (pronounced SAW-WHEN), an Irish festival. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of winter and the end of the harvest season. Livestock was said to be slaughtered around this time. Souls were believed to visit their families too.

8. Being drunk in public is an offence

Though Irish people are known for being heavy drinkers, you still need to be composed and drink just whatever you can manage. Despite what many tourists believe about the Irish and our drinking habits, “in terms of national law, drinking alcohol in a public place in Ireland is not illegal. Being drunk and disorderly is; that’s an entirely different thing.”. The only day of the year when this law is slightly bent is on St. Patrick’s Day, when there simply aren’t enough police officers to monitor the one million plus tourists on the streets of Dublin.

9. You could get married by “walking”

Up until the 1920s, an odd (and low-cost) way to be married in Teltown, County Meath was for couples to walk towards one another on St. Bridget’s Day. To get a divorce, the married couple simply had to go to the same spot and walk away from one another.

10. More Irish are living outside Ireland

It has been reported that almost 80 million people around the world have Irish passports. Up to half the entire population of Australia claim Irish ancestry, while just over 39 million Americans believe they are part Irish.

 

Check out our collection and learn more about the Irish practice you never knew existed.


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