Ways to Celebrate Your Irish Heritage
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
April 29, 2014
Filed Under Offbeat
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Terri Wallace
While it is said that on Saint Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish, there are some that have a true Irish ancestry that they want to preserve and pay tribute to.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to boast a link to the Emerald Isle, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate you Irish heritage (other than just losing your temper!) every day of the year, not just on St. Paddy’s Day.
They say that the sense of smell is one of the more evocative of the senses. A whiff can transport you to a different time and place—a handful of memories burst open with the slightest hint of a familiar smell. Reclaim the summer you spent on the Irish coast with a scented candle and an candle holder decorated with Celtic symbols—a little something to help tide you over until you can make it back to the isle.
Shamrocks are renowned as the symbol of Ireland. St. Francis was said to have used the plant to explain the nature of the Holy Trinity; however, this humble plant soon became rooted in more than just religious metaphor when it was used as an emblem by rival militias during the politics unrest of the late eighteenth century. You can sport this Irish national symbol in a myriad of ways, including clothing, jewelry, and housewares.
8. Music and Melodies
Whether you prefer harps, pipes, or drums, or simply the lilting tones of the Irish tongue, the music of Ireland is as varied as the people who live there. Haunting melodies, timeless ballads, and raucous sing-alongs make for a colorful journey through the history of the Emerald Isle and are a wonderful way to revel in your Irish roots.
7. Intricate Knot work
Celtic knot work, with its intricate interplay of form and design, is a traditional art form that reflects the complex nature of the people. You can weave this ancient art into your daily life in the form of jewelry, woolens, Irish made home decor and tapestries, even tattoos which tout your Celtic heritage.
6. Witch Balls
Ireland, with its folklore and legends, is full of tales of fairies and witches and enchanted creatures. Be careful to keep the evil spirits at bay with a little help from a Witch Ball. Finally, there’s a way to ward off the evil eye, ill-wishes, and a myriad of minor curses…or at least give your yard an Irish flair.
The Irish are well known for their skill with textiles, and especially their ability to knit woolens that are world renowned. Intricate patterns woven from luxurious wool create heirloom quality woolens that are unrivaled. Wear your Irish pride with a fine woolen sweater or scarf.
Chronicle the stories of your Irish ancestry with a fine journal. The Irish have long been said to have a way with words, and you memorialize the stories of your parents and grandparents—or that eccentric ginger-haired great-aunt that could recite every poem by Yeats from memory.
3. Irish Walking Sticks
A shillelagh is a wooden walking stick (and cudgel) which was traditionally crafted from blackthorn wood and used as much for self-defense as for walking. Most shillelaghs also have a heavy knob (sometimes hollowed out and filled with lead) for a handle; this “hitting end” can be used for striking or disarming an opponent. While it is unlikely, in this day and age, that you would have need of a shillelagh to settle a gentleman’s dispute, the Irish walking stick has carved its place in the history of the Emerald Isle.
The heritage of the Irish people, with their crosses and shamrocks, their symbols of faith and luck, can capture some of that history in wearable form with a charm bracelet. These wearable works of art can convey those iconic images of your ancestry.
1. Celtic Cross
Faith and family are a big part of the Irish people, and the Celtic cross has become an iconic symbol of Ireland’s religious heritage. Proclaim your heritage with a traditional Celtic cross, with its intricate design, as lovely and complex as the people it represents.