Culture is one of the most important determinants that define the growth of a country or nation. Culture not only adds beauty to the image of any nation but also expands its economy. Every country has its own unique culture. In this article, we are going to discuss Irish culture.
Just like everyone else, I also love exploring different countries and witnessing their beauty, music, traditions, etc. last year My family and I planned a trip to the Republic of Ireland.
The trip was for two weeks but when we landed there and started exploring we felt compelled to extend our vacation by 2 weeks. Even those 4 weeks were not enough to explore everything.
We experienced their literature, enjoyed their music, cherished their rituals and customs, and loved their games and sports. Those four weeks flew by like a blink of an eye. Our vacation ended and we went back with a heavy heart.
Irish Culture has a rich history. It includes art, cuisine, music, sports literature, and many more factors which are analogous to Irish people.
As we go through the history of Irish culture, we will learn that there is a mix of Anglo-Norman, Gaelic history, and also the English-Scottish Anglo-Norman touch seen after the invasion of Ireland by Anglo-Normans in the 12th century. This history was enriched in the 16th or 17th century when Tudor Irish colonized the country. Scottish strands also become part of the culture of Northern Ireland.
Some of the feasts and festivals that have influenced many countries include Saint Patrick’s Day and Halloween.
Christian Traditions and old Pagan customs along with the Celtic culture and traditions are reflected in today’s Irish calendar. Holidays are an integral part of the culture of any society and so is the casein Irish society.
This holiday is also known as St. Brigid's Day. It is at the start of the spring season on the dates of 1-2 February. People clean their houses and make Brigid's crosses with rushes. This day is also marked by feasting in all families.
This day is to salute the arrival of Christianity in Irish heritage. This day is celebrated on the 17th March and is marked by lots of activities like dancing to traditional music and parades etc.
It is celebrated on the dates of 30 April-1 May. It is also known Gaelic May Day. This day is marked by decorating houses and holding bonfires.
This day was invented in 1956 to salute the memory of James Joyce who was a famous Irish writer. 16 June was the day when his famous novel Ulysses became immortal.
This is also a summer festival marked by the arrival of summer. It is celebrated by Irish Dancing and Irish music.
Irish people celebrate this harvest festival on August 1st.
This festival and holiday is the Celtic new year’s eve. It is celebrated on 31 October to celebrate the end of the harvest season.
Several other names are specified for this holiday for example Christian Holiday, Halloween, etc. Irish people celebrate this special day by wearing beautiful dresses, having bonfires, and honoring their forefathers.
Christmas is celebrated all over the world and is celebrated here in Ireland as well. It is greeted as Nollaig Shona Duit in the Irish Official language. It means Merry Christmas in English. It is a commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Republic of Ireland has two official languages, one is Irish and the other is Irish Gaelic which is also called Gealige. Gealige was the first and primary language of Ireland before the 18th century. And it is still verbalized throughout Ireland.
There are some other languages as well which are spoken by parts of the Republic of Ireland including Polish, Shelta, and Romani.
When we are talking about the Irish language it is a bit unfair if we do not take a glance at the Irish expressions or slang. Following are the main Irish slang that is used commonly by Irish people.
This Irish slang or expression originated from the ancient Irish word Slan which means healthy. You do it when you're toasting a drink with somebody.
This expression is an Irish slang word that is used to give blessings to someone who is leaving to travel home. This expression means safe home which is used to say goodbye.
This expression means hello or hi
This expression is used for a person who is acting like a fool.
This means kid or a child.
Let’s now look at the Irish food and drinks that you should know about.
It is a one-pot dish considered fit for the winters. There is a controversy over how it is made, especially the ingredients like mutton or beef and the vegetables.
The traditional way of making it requires mutton, onions, and potatoes while the modern recipes of Irish stew include beef or lamb, wine, and carrots and thus is generally termed beef stew.
This is a simple bread that is made using soda, bread, salt, flour, and buttermilk. However, there are no hard and fast rules to make this traditional recipe. This bread is enjoyed with butter along with soups.
This is a drink and has the honor of being the National drink of the Republic of Ireland. This drink is enjoyed and liked not only in Ireland but also in many major parts of the world.
It is a dark liquid that is bitter in taste and creamy in texture. It is a mixture of chocolate, herbs, and coffee. If you ever get the chance to visit Ireland, you must give this drink a try.
Guinness Storehouse which is located in Dublin is the perfect place for this drink. Moreover, this drink is an important part of the Irish diet for some people and also the Irish national identity.
Ireland has a rich history of making and preparing Irish Whiskey. It is a sweet flavor drink that is made using unmalted Barley. All the Irish ingredients make Irish whiskey way more appealing.
The pub culture of any society adds enormous importance to its culture and so has added to the culture of Ireland. Pub culture of Ireland was an important part of Irish Life in the past but now the number of pub-goers is decreasing dramatically.
The reason for this rapid decrease is the crisis of their economy and the ban on smoking etc.
If we look at the history of Irish Pub culture we would see that there is an ancient background in Irish history. There were only three social aspects of rural Ireland. And those three were the football club, the pub, and the church. People used to gather there after their football matches for alcoholic celebrations.
You can wear traditional Irish clothes and go to a pub to have the time of your life.
The word whiskey is derived from the word uisce beatha which means water of life.
Giving a tip to the barman is less common than in England or in other parts of the world. There is no rigid ban on tipping the lounge girls or boys but it is done only on special occasions.
Smoking used to be an important part of Irish customs especially when it comes to pub culture. But it has been quite some years since the government has banned smoking in pubs. Several outdoor shelters have been built for smoking activities.
Several aspects joined together to form the folklore of Ireland. It's an important part of Irish culture. It includes Irish dancing, Irish Art, Irish folk music, balladry, and many more.
There is a book written on the folk culture of Ireland by Sean O Suilleabhain which gives the proper definition of folklore. And that included all aspects of the spiritual, material, and folk culture of the country.
There are lots of sports that are common in the country of Ireland. Most of the popular ones are Gaelic football, soccer, golf, etc. Out of these three Gaelic football has tremendous importance and there is an Irish national football team that has done brilliantly in recent years.
There are a lot of other games that are played in Northern Ireland, and also in southern Ireland, like tennis, hockey, and basketball. Pitch and putt, cricket and boxing, etc.
The Gaelic Athletic association is an organization that manages all the sporting activities in the country. It promotes all the Gaelic games that have been discussed above. Along with the sports and games, this association also promotes the Irish language, traditional Irish music, Irish dancing, etc.
Christianity was brought in the 5th century. Christianity is correlated with Saint Patrick who is the patron saint of Ireland. Religion and religious activities have enormous importance in Ireland.
Irish culture is enriched with traditional music, the Irish language, and national cultural development. Irish contributions to literature have been massive and there are lots of art galleries and museums which make it a strong place for cultural events.
All the fun of enjoying these tremendous events and Gaelic culture would be doubled if you understood the Irish language.
The best option for this is the ling App which provides the best platform for language learning. What are you waiting for? Download the Ling App now from Google Playstore or App Store and start learning the Irish language!!!