Irish Culture

Irish Culture
By Kristen Robson
Irish Symbols
The Irish Flag
◦ In 1848, the tricolor design of the Irish flag was
introduced by Thomas Francis Meagher.
 Green – represents the Irish people
 White – represents peace
 Orange – represents the people who supported William
of Orange “father of the country”
Irish Symbols
The Shamrock
◦ The word originates from seamrog which means
“summer plant”
◦ Legends say that the shamrock has magical powers
 The leaves will stand straight up when a storm is approaching
 There will be no snakes among them
Saint Patrick
Patron Saint of Ireland
The Shamrock
◦ Used a shamrock, which
was sacred to the
Druids, to explain the
Holy Trinity
◦ Legends say that St.
Patrick banished snakes
from Ireland
 A more logical reasoning
for this phenomenon is
that Ireland does not have
snakes because it is an
island and there are no
ways for snakes to get
CULTURE the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a
particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth
culture; the drug culture
The Language
Irish (Gaeilge) is an IndoEuropean language .
◦ Part of a collection of languages
known as Goidelic Celtic or QCeltic.
In the 17th and 18th centuries
the language started to
decline due to famine and
The Gaelic League (Conradh
na Gaeilge) founded by
Douglas Hyde and Eoin Mac
Neill in1893 was created to
help reinstate the Irish
language. By 1905 they had
over 500 branches in Ireland.
12th Century
◦ Colors of clothes were
regulated by Brehon law
 1 color for slaves and
 2 colors for soldiers and
 3 colors for goodly heroes
and young lords
 4 colors for freeman
 5 colors for cheiftain
 6 colors for judges and
 7 colors for kings and
Today the Irish wear
the same types of
clothes as Americans.
The Irish Arts
Traditional and Folk Music
In the 17th Century the Irish Aristocracy
appreciated harp musicians but this died
out only a century later.
 Between 1820 and 1920 Irish singers
immigrated to U.S.A.. The ones that
became successful made recordings which
worked their way back to Ireland for
them to hear.
 Traditional singing, Sean-nos, is still found
to be used in poetic styles of songs.
Dance Click here!!!!!
Early Irish dancing was Celtic dancing by the Druids.
◦ Trees, animals, work, war, courtship, and some for fun
18th Century
◦ Solo footwork was incorporated into group dances.
◦ Dance Masters taught for a fee and were usually
accompanied by a piper of fiddler.
◦ Dance Masters continued until the 20th Century.
Christmas in Ireland
The laden table
◦ After Christmas Eve Dinner, the table is set
again and the front door left ajar so that Mary
and Joseph, or any other wondering person
can come in and enjoy the welcome.
Christmas in Ireland
◦ Holly rings originated in Ireland. Because they
were ample and cheap, the poor were able to
easily decorate their homes for the occasion.
◦ It is considered bad luck to take down any
decorations before ‘Little Christmas,” January
Beginnings of Halloween
◦ During the Celtic New Year, celebrated on
November 1st, it was believed that a veil opened
between this world and the spirit world.
 People would paint their face and attempt to look
unappealing so that spirits would not approach them.
 This is where the idea of costumes and masks came from.
Beginnings of Halloween
◦ Jack O’lantern
 When Jack died he was refused entrance into Heaven
because he was too stingy during his life. Jack was also
turned down at the gates of Hell because the Devil had
had enough of Jack’s jokes. The Devil gave him a hot
piece of coal to light his way until Judgment Day. He
placed the coal in a turnip to guide his light.
 The U.S.A. used pumpkins because they were more common
than turnips.
An iron ring worn on the fourth finger will prevent rheumatism.
Drinking boiled carrot juice purifies the blood.
A sick person’s bed must be placed North to South, and no other
It is unlucky if a chair falls when a person stands up.
If you want to know the name of the person you will marry, put a
snail on a plate covered in flour for the night, when you wake up,
there will be the initials.
To have a rabbit cross your path before sunrise is unlucky.
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William of Orange 1533-1584From rebel nobleman to “father of the country”."
Entoen. Web. 5 Dec 2009. <>.
"The Irish Language." Web. 11 Dec 2009.