Celtic Legends, Ireland, Irish Wit & Wisdom

Six Fascinating Mythical Celtic Women of Irish Folklore

Mysterious Celtic woman

Ancient Irish folklore has many stories of beautiful and strong Irish women of the past. Celtic women have often been depicted as holding positions of great importance, highly valued in a very male dominated Celtic tribal society. Irish women have been venerated as a goddess, saint, as a warrior even royalty and at the same time they have been portrayed as someone to fear. I am sure the truth about ancient Irish women in Irish mythology lies somewhere between fantasy and reality.   

Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century Pirate Queen of Ireland…

Grace O’Malley was born in Ireland in around 1530. She was the daughter of Owen O’Malley. O’Malley was a wealthy nobleman and sea trader. When O’Malley died Grace inherited his large shipping and trading business. Grace O’Malley commanded a dozen ships and thousands of men. Grace’s vast empire of ships stretched from Connaught on the Irish coast to Africa. Through the daring of her piracy, Grace nearly bankrupted the English treasury-and her outright defiance brought embarrassment to Queen Elizabeth I.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day or ITLAPD is on September 19. It is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S. Remember Grace O’Malley on September 19th, International Talk Like a Pirate Day and give her an Arghhhh!

Aoife, the Wife of King Lir and the Children of Lir….

The Children of Lir… Long ago there lived a King named Lir who lived with his four children, Fionnuale, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn and his beloved wife who would son die. After grieving for his wife King Lir married Aoife. Aoife was very jealous of King Lir’s love for his four children. She used her magic to turn the children into swans. As swans they were condemned to spend 300 years at Lough Derravaragh, 300 years at the Sea of Moye and 300 years on the waters of Irrus Domann. The only way to break the spell was a blessing from a monk. Finally, after 900 years of suffering they heard church bells and returned to shore. There the spell was finally broke by St. Patrick. Unfortunately, they were so old they died soon after the spell was broken and joined their parents in heaven. The story of the Children of Lir is one about the strength of the parental child bond.

The Legendary Irish Princess Isolde …

The Irish princess, Iseult of Ireland (also Iseult La Belle or Iseult la Blonde, “Iseult the Fair”), is the daughter of King Anguish of Ireland and Queen Iseult the Elder. She is a main character in the Tristan poems of Béroul, Thomas of Britain, and Gottfried von Strassburg and in the opera Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner. Iseult is first seen as a young Irish princess who heals Tristan from his wounds.

According to Arthurian legend, Iseult (also “Isolde”) was the adulterous lover of Sir Tristan. Sir Tristan was a handsome Knight of the Round Table. Iseult was an Irish Princess who fell hopelessly in love with Tristan. But Sir Tristan was sent on behalf the King of Cornwall to win Iseult’s hand in marriage for King Mark of Cornwall. This romantic tragedy was used as the basis of “Tristan and Isolde” by Richard Wagner, an acclaimed opera.

The Banshee …

The Banshee, bean-sidhe (woman of the fairy may be an ancestral spirit appointed to forewarn members of certain ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, the O’Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Intermarriage has since extended this select list.


Whatever her origins, the banshee chiefly appears in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron, or a raddled old hag. These represent the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death, namely Badhbh, Macha and Mor-Rioghain.) She usually wears either a grey, hooded cloak or the winding sheet or grave robe of the unshriven dead. She may also appear as a washerwoman and is seen apparently washing the blood-stained clothes of those who are about to die. In this guise she is known as the bean-nighe (washing woman).
Although not always seen, her mourning call is heard, usually at night when someone is about to die.

Saint Brigid – The Patron Saint of Ireland …

Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares her name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated. St. Brigid, also known as “Mary of the Gael“, is a patroness Saint of Ireland. Born the daughter of a powerful Irish Chieftain St. Bridget or also spelled Brigid became a nun completely devoted to relieving the misery and hardship of the poor.

The Saint Brigid’s Cross

The traditional woven cross is said to have originated during a visit St. Bridget made to a dying Chieftain in which she wove it from rushes on the floor to show the significance of Christian faith. The woven rush cross has become synonymous with St. Bridget known as the Saint Brigid’s Cross.

Saint Brigid is also the Patron Saint of the LAOH. The LAOH stand for THE LADIES ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish order, and it was organized in The United States of America in New York City in the year of 1836. Her feast day, known as St. Brigid’s day is February first.

Celtic Goddess Brigid…

The Celtic Goddess Brigid is an Irish goddess of spring, dating back to pre- Christian Ireland.  She is a venerated deity whose name means exalted one derived from ancient Gaelic word brig.  Her name is also said as Brighid or Brighit. Brigid is the daughter of the Dagda, and therefore one of the Tuatha de Dannan. The Tuatha Dé Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, also known by the earlier name Tuath Dé “tribe of the gods”, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland. She is known as the Goddess of Healers, Poets, Smiths, Childbirth, and is the Inspiration for the Goddess of Fire and Hearth and a patron of warfare or Briga. Brigid said to be gentle, yet she is extraordinarily strong and stern.  

Irish Jewelry, Irish Traditions, St. Valentine's Day

The Romantic Irish Tradition of The Claddagh Ring

a claddagh ring

The Claddagh is a legendary jewelry item that epitomizes timeless values. The legacy design cues hands on either side of a heart and a crown on top. The classic Claddagh ring shows the wearer’s family situation. Thus, a heart looking out the fingertips means you’re single, whereas this element pointing towards the wrist means that the owner is taken.

Today, this ring has a huge number of design variations, but the main three elements have remained intact. This jewelry item is presented to girls and women as a symbol of companionship or as a Claddagh engagement ring.

The Story Behind The Claddagh Ring

The Irish Claddagh ring tells a heartwarming romantic story steeped in heritage and life-long affection. This story began a long time ago – three hundred and forty years ago, to be exact.

The protagonist of this most widespread legend is Richard Joyce. One day, he ventured off to what is now known as the North American islands. On his way back, he was going to walk his sweetheart down the aisle, but on the way to Claddagh, his ship was seized by Algerian pirates. 

In those days, pirates tore the blue waters, filling travelers with dread. Many noblemen died in the fight and thousands of merchants lost everything they had earned. Thus, Richard was enslaved and brought to a famous jeweler. He spent in slavery fourteen years. Joyce mastered the jewelry craft to perfection and became an excellent craftsman under his master’s guidance.

Richard kept on dreaming of meeting his bride. This inspired him to create a ring that portrayed two hands holding the heart under the crown.

Later, the goldsmith was set free. However, a Moorish jeweler liked the capable lad and even offered him to tie the knot with his daughter. But Joyce refused since a bride was waiting for him in his homeland. 

When Richard arrived to the motherland, he gave the ring to his faithful girlfriend, who had been waiting for him all these years. They married and settled down in the village. Richard went on to pursue his favorite and lucrative business – he opened his own jewelry workshop. Since then, these rings have sprouted into the local culture.

Although there are different legends circulating about the origin of this item, the romantic history seems the most plausible. The fact remains that the oldest surviving rings bear his trader’s mark, and that a jeweler named Richard Joyce actually existed. It is also interesting that this goldsmith’s mark features an anchor, which is a symbol of hope.

Today, this ring has rightfully taken its place among the cherished Irish wedding traditions and customs alongside with locking of the church door, the make-up beds, and others.

The Bottom Line

Today, the Claddagh is the eternal embodiment of affection and wholeness. The charm of this item is that it can be used as both a promise heirloom and a marriage symbol. So whether you are into the traditions or prefer a more modern stance, this lovely heritage can be worn and adored by everyone.

Irish Traditions

The Celtic Cross: Mysterious Sun Symbol from Ireland

About sixty mysterious crosses with a circle superimposed on them, created before the middle of the XII century, can still be seen over the vast territory of Ireland. Also, such crosses dot thousands of cemeteries not only on the island, but also in England, Wales, Scotland, Europe and other most unpredictable places. The most famous and recognizable symbol of Ireland, the Celtic cross, still disturbs the minds with its mystery and multiple interpretations.

History and Origins

Why Celtic and why is Ireland constantly mentioned along with it? It’s simple: the oldest pieces in the largest quantities were found there. Historians have long believed that the Irish are the descendants of the ancient tribes of the Celts who came to the island from the center of Europe. And now when we say Celts we mean Irish. Of course, the cross was discovered not only in Ireland, but also in England and Scotland. But the primacy in quantity remained with Ireland. Hence the name.

Often called the cross of St. Columbus, it originally served as a guide to sacred places such as cemeteries, churches and monasteries. This symbol began to be depicted in Ireland around the 7th century and for many centuries, with the help of monks, it was actively installed throughout the country.

There is an opinion that such crosses were used as tombstones, but it is wrong. Only from the middle of the 19th century, the Irish who moved to a foreign land began to depict Celtic crosses on tombstones, showing everyone their origin. That is why we can see this symbol in the most remote corners of the world.

Meaning and Symbolism

The Celtic cross is a cross with equal rays, enclosed in a circle. The rays can slightly protrude outside the circle. Sometimes a Celtic ornament is located along the cross and in a circle. Although this form of the cross is inherent in many ancient peoples, including the Slavs, the cross in a circle is firmly established in the minds of people as Celtic.

The Christian interpretation of the cross is simple: the circle means eternity and union, and the cross itself means the love and sacrifice. It is difficult to say how the ancient Celts themselves interpreted this symbol: there is no information about this. But historians suggest that the cross as understood by the ancient Celts could symbolize fertility, abundance, and protection. It is also called the solar symbol because its facets suggest the unity of earth, air, sun and water.

Nowadays, the Celtic cross is worn by both Christians and pagans: it is not tied to a particular religion, and different denominations perceive it as a symbol of their spiritual views.

Modern Distribution

Today the Celtic cross can be found not only in cemeteries and architecture, but generally everywhere in Ireland. Souvenirs, advertising, clothing, key-rings have become an excellent foundation for displaying the famous Irish symbol. And the number of jewelry with a Celtic cross is generally a separate topic for discussion. Celtic cross necklaces, pendants, bracelets, brooches and charms made of sterling silver, gold and even wood are sold in a huge assortment for every taste. 

Celtic Cross Necklace by The Irish Jewelry Company

Many pieces of jewelry are made with different stones, allowing the manufacturer to customize the selection for specific people who prefer individual minerals. Sometimes the cross decoration is complemented by other Celtic designs such as triquetra, triscele and Celtic knot-work, which make them more intricate and interesting. Celtic crosses can also be single or double-sided. Modest and minimalistic, rich and luxurious – everyone can choose what they like best.

Irish Traditions

Valentine’s Day Meaning & History

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The first thing that comes to mind is a heart-shaped box of cheap chocolates that should be directly applied to one’s hips. And then there is that sweet little cupid. He’s an overweight angel aiming a bow and arrow at you to inspire you to fall blissfully in love. I mean, let’s face it. Cupid’s arrow is a weapon that literally and metaphorically could be the death of you. But all jokes aside, do you even know why we actually celebrate Valentine’s Day? I didn’t think so.

What is the meaning of Valentine Day?

The Legend of Saint Valentine
In ancient Rome, the date February 14th was a holiday to honor the Roman Goddess of women and marriage. The next day was celebrated as the pagan Roman Feast of Lupercalia. During this time in Roman history, young adults were strictly segregated by sex. No surprise, it was 269 AD. Eventually they needed to give their hormones a chance to flourish. So it was customary on the eve of the feast of Lupercalia for young men and woman to be partnered for the feast by the men picking the girls’ names from a jar. Sometimes the pairing lasted for a year and with the young couples falling romantically in love and eventually marring. It was all very sexist in a provocative way.

Unfortunately, this didn’t last for long. This euphoric ritual of hormonal teenage partnering would come to an abrupt end during the tyrannical rule of Emperor Claudius II, also known as Claudius the cruel. Emperor Claudius had Rome fighting in many bloody and unpopular battles and was having grave difficulty recruiting soldiers to sustain his military forces. In his warped mind, Claudius believed the reason he couldn’t get soldiers was due to women. He convinced himself that the men’s love of his family, wife, or girlfriend prevented them from leaving there side and joining the military. It had nothing to do with the little matter that they didn’t want to die a savage death for an Emperor they despised.

Fun-loving Emperor Claudius proceeded to cancel all pending and future marriages and engagements in Rome. Claudius then made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians.

Why is Valentine’s Day on February 14th?

Legend has it, no doubt a wee bit embellished if not entirely fictional, that Valentine was stricken with the unbearable belief that many young souls would be destined to be sinners. So Valentine, a roman priest, married young lovers against Claudius’s decree in secrecy. He was of course apprehended and condemned to death for his deeds. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, in either 269 AD or 270 AD. Nobody really knows what yearly exactly, but they know the date was February 14th, now known as Valentine’s Day.

So where is St. Valentine now?

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Ireland, duh! What you may not know for some unknown reason is that St. Valentine’s remains are rumored to be buried in Dublin, Ireland. How do you like that wee bit of useless knowledge?

The Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin City claims to hold the remains of St. Valentine. The Carmelites are a small community in the monastery attached to Whitefriar Street Church. Saint Valentine’s remain were given to the Carmelites in 1835 by Pope Gregory XVI.

Oh, the Irish are wonderful folk. They just about have their hands in everything good and pleasurable. Not only did they give us spooktacular holidays like Halloween and fantastic Christmas traditions like the wreath on our on the front doors, but they also house the remains of St. Valentine! The romantic patron saint of lovers whose feast day has become so commercialized it actually makes Christmas seem, well, less commercial by comparison. In any event, Board Failte wouldn’t be doing their job if it didn’t see the Euro signs in the fact that Dublin, Ireland’s capital, is the last resting place of the beloved Saint of Love. It virtually makes Ireland a must-do pilgrimage for lovers. I mean, after all, the Irish did give us the best Valentine’s Day gift of all the claddagh ring, too. The claddagh is the one and only symbol of eternal friendship, love, and loyalty. The story of the claddagh and the claddagh ring is a story for another day or blog. Anyway, its romantic, symbolic meaning makes it a no brainer Valentine’s Day gift for someone to give any lucky partner. Cowinkydink?

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Celtic Holidays, Irish Traditions

Imbolc – Saint Brigid’s Day February 1st

Imbolc or Imbolg, also called Brigid’s Day, and Saint Brigid’s Day is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. Saint Brigid’s Day is also called: Lá Fhéile Bríde (Irish), Là Fhèill Brìghde (Scottish Gaelic)

St. Brigid Cross in Two Tone

Saint Brigid’s Day – February 1st

This feast day is held on 1 February, or about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Saint Brigid of Ireland, whose feast day is February 1st, led a fascinating life. Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland is one of Ireland’s patron saints, along with Patrick and Columbia. Irish hagiography makes her an early Irish Christian nun, abbess, and founder of several monasteries of nuns, including that of Kildare in Ireland, which was famous and was revered.

Saint Brigid’s Prayer ….

Saint Brigid, You were a woman of peace. You brought harmony where there was conflict. You brought light to the darkness. You brought hope to the downcast. May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious, and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world. Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made. Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary. Strengthen what is weak within us. Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens. May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.

Amen.

What is a St Bridget’s Cross?

This beautiful cross known as a St. Brigid’s Cross is a wonderful tribute to Ireland’s beloved saint. Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland is one of Ireland’s patron saints, along with Saint Patrick. Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares a name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated.

How to make a Saint Brigid’s Cross

Making a Saint Bridget’s Cross is a custom in Ireland. The St Bridget’s Cross is made out of plants called rushes (Juncus effusus) for hanging above the entrances to dwellings to invoke the help of St Bridget in warding off disease. St Bridget’s Day is celebrated on the 1st February each year and the crosses are made at that time. Rushes were traditionally used to make the St Bridget’s Cross. These were collected from wetlands and cut into pieces, 8-12 inches long. Rushes can be hard to get for city dwellers so ordinary paper environmentally friendly drinking straws and rubber are a good substitute to make with children. 

You can watch an IPCC video showing you how to make a cross. Please follow this link.

If You Can’t Get Rushes You Will Need

  • 9 paper environmentally friendly drinking straws
  • 4 small rubber bands

What to Do

  1. Hold one of the straws vertically. Fold a second straw in half as in the diagram.
  2. Place the first vertical straw in the center of the folded second straw.
  3. Hold the center overlap tightly between thumb and forefinger.
  4. Turn the two straws held together 90 degrees counter clockwise so that the open ends of the second straw are projecting vertically upwards.
  5. Fold a third straw in half and over both parts of the second straw to lie horizontally from left to right against the first straw. Hold tight.
  6. Holding the center tightly, turn the three straws 90 degrees counter clockwise so that the open ends of the third straw are pointing upwards.
  7. Fold a new straw in half over and across all the staws pointing upwards.
  8. Repeat the process of rotating all the straws 90 degrees counter clockwise, adding a new folded straw each time until all nine straws have been used up to make the cross.
  9. Secure the arms of the cross with elastic bands. Trim the ends to make them all the same length. The St Bridget’s Cross is now ready to hang.
How to Make A St Bridget's Cross

Text, Photographs and Images © Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare. Email: bogs@ipcc.ie; Tel: +353-45-860133.

Celtic Holidays, Ireland, Irish Christmas, Irish Traditions

The Day Of The Wren Known as St Stephen’s Day

Straw Boys

One of Ireland’s unique and darker traditions, celebrated on December 26th, relates to killing a small bird in revenge for betraying St Stephen.
“Hunting the Wren” is an Irish tradition that is believed to pre-date Christian times. It sounds pretty cruel, where basically the tiny bird is captured, killed and tied to a pole. Local musicians and dancers would then dress in garish disguises and go house to house collecting money, food and drink for a party. Woe betide the house that did not donate to the cause – the wren could be buried outside their door which would bring 12 months of bad luck!

St Stephen


King of the Birds or Traitor of Saints??
The wren is considered the ‘King of the Birds’ and is also associated with the old year. It was said that capturing the bird alive would herald in a new and prosperous year. As the king of the birds the wren occupied a prominent position in the druidic pagan religion. Sailors and fishermen believed that those who possessed a wren feather would never be shipwrecked.

Legend has it that the wren was a small feathered traitor, but legend cannot agree if this dubious reputation was earned by betraying a saint’s hiding place, ruining a secret attack by Irish warriors or by being a fairy seductress – all intriguing in their own right.
One version of the story tells that St Stephen was hiding in a bush from his enemies, only for his hiding to be revealed by the chattering of a wren. Another maintains that in the 700s during the Viking troubles, when Irish warriors crept up on the Danes to attack, a little wren beat out a warning by picking crumbs from the drum held by a sleeping Viking. And lastly, there was a fairy woman called Cliona was in the habit of luring local men to a watery grave. She had the power to turn herself into, you’ve guessed it, a wren.

the wren

An Irish St. Stephen’s Day Tradition
The feast of St. Stephen, who was the first Christian martyr, is celebrated on December 26th. Connecting the Wren Boys ritual (Lá an Dreoilín) as the day when the traitor wren betrayed St. Stephen is a good example of how Ireland’s pagan traditions were merged with Christianity (it also happened with St Brigid)

The Wren, the Wren the king of all birds,
St. Stephens’s day, he was caught in the furze.
Although he is little, his honour is great,
Rise up, kind sir, and give us a trate.

We followed this Wren ten miles or more
Through hedges and ditches and heaps of snow,
We up with our wattles and gave him a fall
And brought him here to show you all.

For we are the boys that came your way
To bury the Wren on Saint Stephens’s Day,
So up with the kettle and down with the pan!
Give us some help for to bury the Wren!

Modern Revival
Nowadays, a more humane Wren Boys is still practiced in mainly rural areas, they don’t kill the wren anymore, thank goodness. The tradition consists of “hunting” a fake wren, and putting it on top of a decorated pole. Crowds of mummers or straw boys celebrate the wren by dressing up in masks, straw suits and colorful motley clothing and, accompanied by céilí music bands, parade through the towns and villages. A celebration is still held around the decorated pole and the money that is collected from the townspeople is now donated to a school or charity.

Cautionary word of warning to all wrens – a wren’s feather is still thought to bring good luck, so maybe lie low around Christmas time…

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Celtic Jewelry, Celtic Knot Meanings, Claddagh Rings, Irish Jewelry

THE MEANING BEHIND MEN’S CELTIC WEDDING RING DESIGN

Traditional Irish wedding traditions date far back in time and many have survived for decades in one form or another today. These Irish wedding traditions include classic Men’s Celtic wedding ring designs. The designs to the Celtic Wedding Rings are rooted in nature came from folklore and superstitions for generations. passed on generations. Today Irish couples around the world seek to incorporate these ancient Irish wedding traditions and Celtic Wedding Ring design in their modern-day wedding as a way pay tribute or to reconnect with their Irish heritage.

Conventional Men’s Celtic wedding rings have intricate details, and the meaning of Celtic knots and designs are very sentimental. While many modern Celtic couples are likely familiar with the story of the Claddagh Ring and its symbolic tradition Celtic knots have a unique variety of meanings. There are many Celtic knots, and each knot is distinctive and symbolic in its own way.

When you want to tie the knot and pay tribute to your heritage a Celtic wedding ring can evoke ancient traditions and meaning symbolic of your love for one another.

The Classic Celtic Knot Wedding Band

Celtic Knot Wedding Rings are a popular Celtic symbol but there are many types of Celtic Knots. Celtic knots are like circles and loops interwoven with no beginning or end. A symbol of eternity and the cycle of life. Celtic symbols are widely popular in Celtic Wedding Rings and in Celtic Knot Jewelry. Celtic Knotwork Wedding Rings have a variety of Celtic Knot meanings representing family, strength, protection, love and more.

TYING THE KNOT… the Celtic Knot

Ancient pagan traditional wedding element. Hand Fasting or Tying the Knot. Officiant’s hands are in slight motion

Perhaps the best-known Irish Wedding Tradition that most people don’t know about is tying the knot. Did you know the phrase “Tying the Knot” originated with the ancient Celtic ceremony of hand fasting? This old Celtic tradition symbolizes the joining of two as one like the exchanging of rings today. The couple clasps their hands together and a brightly colored cord in the bridal party colors is wrapped around their hands as a symbol of their unity in marriage.

The Celtic Eternity Knot Wedding Ring is A Symbol of Love

Celtic Eternity Knot Wedding Band Gold Plated

The Celtic eternity knot wedding ring an ancient symbol of an interwoven spiritual path, endless love, and friendship. The eternity knot is a symmetrical knot that ties into itself without a visible beginning or end. The saying, “tying the knot” means to get married or engaged originates from the ancient Celtic custom of hand-fasting. In this Celtic custom of a couple having their hands bound together with an endless knot (or an eternity knot) in a symbolic ritual that binds them together as one forever.

Mens Celtic Trinity Knot Wedding Ring

Trinity Knot Wedding Ring Design

Much like the shamrock the Triquetra knot also referred to as the Trinity knot was used by Christians to represent the Holy Trinity. Legend says St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain how the Holy Trinity works. Each petal on the clover represents an entity of God. The top petal is God. The other two petals represent Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Faithful Christians used the three points of the Trinity knot demonstrates the Holy Trinity Basically, there are three persons, each person is God, each person is distinct, and there is only one God. The Christians used the knot to symbolize the Holy Trinity and added a circle to represent eternal life.

While the Trinity Knot Wedding Ring meaning may be unique to everyone, the symbolic design is timeless and a true symbol of Celtic heritage.

What is a Traditional Celtic Cross Wedding Ring?

The Celtic cross is one of the most revered symbols of Ireland and of Irish culture. Few symbols are as renowned as the embodiment of Celtic Christianity like the Celtic cross worldwide. The Celtic Cross is basically a Latin cross with a circle of light, or a halo intersecting it. This cross also known as the Irish cross or the cross of Iona is a famous Christian symbol that has its roots in paganism.  The cross with a circle of light emerged in France and Britain in the middle ages and predates Christianity. It was adopted by Irish missionaries from the 9th through the 12th centuries.

Celtic Claddagh Wedding Ring 10k Yellow Gold

The Claddagh Wedding Ring

The claddagh ring is a type of fede ring from Roman times. A fede ring is one with two hands holding a heart to symbolize friendship and love. Richard Joyce added the crown to the design to symbolize his eternal loyalty to his true love.

The Claddagh’s romantic meaning is part of its Irish charm that has made it a piece of jewelry that has endured the test of time. The traditional Claddagh wedding ring is a symbol of friendship, love, and loyalty. The hands of the claddagh ring stand for friendship. The heart of the claddagh ring stands for love and the crown is a symbol of loyalty. The beautiful meaning of the claddagh ring has made the claddagh ring a celebrated romantic gift for people of all nationalities. But none can argue that the claddagh wedding ring holds a rather special meaning to those romantics of Irish heritage.

Each Celtic wedding ring design is unique and evokes a romantic heritage steeped in mysticism and promises of eternal love. Ancient Celts embraced the mystical forces of life and love and demonstrated it in their unending knots.  more than just knots. No matter what Celtic Wedding Ring inspires you when you select a Celtic wedding rings, the design and details should pay tribute to your heritage and commemorate your enduring love and faith in your partner.

Celtic Legends, Claddagh Rings, Ireland, Irish Jewelry, Irish Traditions

The Romantic Story of the Claddagh Ring an Irish Symbol of Love, Loyalty and Friendship

Panorama of the Claddagh in Galway city, Ireland.

The Claddagh ring is a famous Irish ring with a love story that transcends time. The story of the Claddagh Ring is one of enduring love that began long, long ago in 1675 in the small fishing village of Claddagh in County Galway, Ireland. It all began when a young lad by the name Richard Joyce. The Joyce family is one of the famous Tribes of Galway. An Irish fisherman who was very much in love with an enchanting Irish lass he was hoping to one day betroth. Unfortunately he was captured at sea by pirates from Algeria. The wicked pirates sold Richard Joyce for a hefty sum into slavery. As luck would have it in an Irish sort of way Richard Joyce was sold to a Moorish goldsmith who taught him in his highly skilled craft to be an accomplished goldsmith. So impressed with his skill his captor made him his apprentice.

It is said it was during his time of servitude that he saved tiny scraps of metal and created the claddagh ring for his love whom he hoped had waited for him. Thus the claddagh ring was born.

The claddagh ring is a type of fede ring from Roman times. A fede ring is one with two hands holding a heart to symbolize friendship and love. Richard Joyce added the crown to the design to symbolize his eternal loyalty to his true love.

In 1689 the King of England, William the Third persuaded the Algerians to release all enslaved subjects. Soon Richard Joyce was able to return to Ireland and the tiny fishing village of Claddagh to be reunited with family and friends. To his joy he soon discovered after all his years of servitude his true love had waited for his to return.

And just like that with a few hundred years of embellishment and a wee bit of the telephone game at play the romantic story of the Claddagh Ring was born. Now there are several variation’s of the claddagh ring legend but we think this version of the myth is most recognizable world wide. There are even more variations on the Claddagh ring design. Some early designs from over 200 years ago depict the claddagh with a narrow or slender heart. Other older design depict the hands as more pronounced and firmly grabbing the heart.

Today there are many interpretations of the beloved Claddagh Ring design that began in the 1600’s. Reputable online Irish jewelers like The Irish Jewelry Company, world famous for their unique Irish jewelry and Claddagh Rings offer a huge selection to choose from. There are Celtic Knot Claddagh Rings, Trinity Claddagh RingsIrish Claddagh RingsMothers Claddagh Rings and so much more just to name a few.

The romantic Irish Claddagh ring design that can be expressed in so many different ways. Which one of our Claddagh rings is just right for you?

Celtic Jewelry, Claddagh Rings, Irish Jewelry, Irish Traditions, News

Wedding Trends for 2021-2022

Popular consensus would say that 2020 has been a difficult year for the entire wedding industry.  From postponed ceremonies to all together canceled wedding celebrations all over the world. It has been a year that has brought about many forced changes especially to the bridal industry and to the modern bride’s event planning.  

happy wedding, bride and groom together

More Meaningful Celebrations

The pandemic has caused many brides to be to reevaluate the important things in life. The biggest realization is perhaps is that the thing that matters most is not the lavish party with hundreds of friends, co-workers, and distant family members you see once every time someone gets married. The meaning for the ceremony itself is what is important.  Everything else is literally table dressing and not necessary. Perhaps the sentiment of the auspicious occasion has been getting lost among the planning and the ability to keep up with the Jones in recent years. Maybe the one good thing the virus has done is made every bride and groom more aware of the fact that the only thing that really matters is their commitment to each other. And so long as the folks you love the most are near it does not matter any longer if it is a small back yard celebration or an intimate dinner with few friends.

The Return of the Nostalgic Back-Yard Wedding or Mini Wedding.

Couples are now opting for smaller more intimate outdoor spaces. They are focusing less on decor end more on natural picturesque outdoor landscapes.  Couples are looking for a simplified setting and smaller spaces for a celebration of 40-60 verses 200 plus people. With many venues unable to accommodate parties of any size due to covid restrictions many couples have start embracing the nostalgia of the once scorned upon “Football Weddings”.  Popularized in the 40’s and 50’s, the football wedding or Italian football wedding  was a celebration usually held in the yard with sandwiches, cakes and trays of cookies  and all sorts of food prepared by the entire family as an affordable and fun way to celebrate with extended family and friends. The regained popularity of the back-yard wedding has really reduced the stress on the wedding couple and allowed them to genuinely enjoy the party with family and friends. Maybe they have incorporated some new features like a fun food truck for dessert or tacos. But all in all it’s a low key, laid back budget friendly event.

Claddagh Inspired Wedding Rings by The Irish Jewelry Company

Affordability and Budget Conscience

With the shutdowns and job losses and what is likely an uncertain future, couples are less apt to go into debt for the party or to spend big bucks on things like bridal jewelry. Instead couples are choosing to go with more meaningful sentimental and affordable options like using claddagh rings as their wedding rings of choice.   The Claddagh ring tradition has seen a significant resurgence. The Irish ring gives couples that meaningful sentimental feature to mark the more then unusual circumstance of the occasion. A ring that does not necessarily break the bank and is something they can happily wear forever.

The Claddagh ring is really a fede rings and have a long history dating back to Roman times. The name “fede” derives from the Italian phrase mani in fede meaning loosely “hands joined in faith” or “hands joined in loyalty”. The clasped hands were viewed as promise ring used as an engagement ring or wedding ring in medieval and Renaissance Europe. The  Irish Claddagh ringis a version of the fede ring has roots deeply seeded in long standing Irish tradition

Claddagh Rings are world renowned, and are worn by both men and women, single or taken. Irish Claddagh rings are named for the ancient fishing village of Claddagh, near Galway, Ireland, dating back to the 17th century. The Claddagh ring in Irish is fáinne Chladaigh and is a traditional Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship. The hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty. The Irish Cladddagh ring, as currently known, was first produced in the 17th century.

Celtic Holidays, Celtic Jewelry, Irish Jewelry, Irish Traditions

Five Top Irish Gifts for Any Occasion

Claddagh Rings

Ireland is not only the home of St. Patrick, but also a rich and beautiful culture of Celtic symbols and traditions. Discover the best Irish Gifts and Celtic Jewelry online store. Authentic, creative and unique gifts from Ireland. Find the perfect Irish gift for any occasion with our wide range of Irish gifts. Truly unique Luxury Irish Gifts For Any Special Occasion Delivered Fast.

Whatever the occasion, you’re sure to make it memorable with our gorgeous selection of Irish gifts.Whether you are congratulating the happy couple on their big day  or welcoming that precious newborn, we have the finest Irish gifts from Ireland.

Top 5 Traditional Irish Gifts

  1. Irish Jewelry
  2. Irish Wool
  3. Irish Linen
  4. Irish Whiskey
  5. Irish Fragrances

And for that special someone, we have an exclusive collection of beautiful Irish jewelry they’ll adore, including a gorgeous selection of Claddagh rings, authentic Celtic Jewelry, and brilliant Irish pendants. Ordering Irish Gifts at The Irish Jewelry Company‘s online Irish Store is quick, easy, and reliable. So send them a wee piece of Ireland for that special occasion with our authentic Irish gifts.

What is Irish jewelry?

Irish jewelry and Celtic jewelry are unique pieces of jewelry steeped in Irish tradition and heritage. The Irish have a proud tradition of Irish jewelry making. Often Irish jewelry symbols come from unique symbols of Irish and Celtic culture. Symbols like the shamrock, Celtic knot and harp to the wonderful Claddagh ring which has gained fame around the world. At The Irish Jewelry Company we are proud of this Irish heritage. At The Irish Jewelry Company you will find an exclusive designer collection of Irish jewelry and Celtic jewelry like the traditional Celtic knot and claddagh designs, in silver and gold. As jewelry designers we make sure every piece of Irish jewelry is authentic in detail and beautifully crafted.

Irish Wool

The Aran Knit takes its name from the set of islands where it originated many generations ago, off the West coast of Ireland. The Aran Islands are at the mouth of Galway Bayin the Atlantic Sea. The home of fishermen and farmers the Aran Sweater was from a seafaring heritage, passed down from generation to generation, and is an important symbol of Irish family heritage.

Aran Sweater Origins

The Aran sweater inspired the Aran Jewelry Collection as a symbol of Irish heritage and traditional Irish customs. Our Aran Irish jewelry collection is inspired by the Aran sweater weaving traditions and spinning tales connecting families for generations. Browse Aran Jewelry designs Inspired by the Aran Sweater & Islands.

The Aran Knit takes its name from the set of islands where it originated many generations ago, off the West coast of Ireland. The Aran Islands are at the mouth of Galway Bayin the Atlantic Sea. The home of fishermen and farmers the Aran Sweater was from a seafaring heritage, passed down from generation to generation, and is an important symbol of Irish family heritage.

Aran Sweater Origins

The origins of the Aran knit are uniquely related to the Irish clans and their identities. The intricate pattern of knots and stitches seen on the aran knit are unique to each familty and were used to identify a clan or town. They can hold vast amounts of information to those who know how to interpret them. Aran knit sweaters were, and still are a reflection of the lives of the talented knitters and their Irish families.

Irish Fragrance

The Hibernia range of Eau de Toilette Perfume was designed to capture the essence of the Celtic Woman.

Each unique fragrance embodies a different aspect of the female Celtic character – passion, charm & spirit. Presented in a beautiful Celtic inspired bottle, containing 50ml of divine bespoke scent, these fragrances are the perfect treat for any Celtic woman & make an extremely desirable gift. They are made in Ireland using the highest quality ingredients.

Irish Linen

Irish Linen is the brand name given to linen produced in Ireland. Irish Linen yarn is defined as yarn which is spun in Ireland from 100% flax fibers. Irish Linen fabric is defined as fabric which is woven in Ireland from 100% linen yarns.

Irish Lace began in the 1800’s many families in Ireland lived in small thatched cottages on land called crofts producing crops for the Lord of the Manor. Crofters were “dirt poor” with little money for necessities. Then the potato blight hit between 1845 and 1851 destroying the crops and causing thousands of families to starve. The Ursuline nuns were familiar with Venetian lace, brought over from France. The nuns used their skills in crocheting lace to help save the people from the famine. They began schooling women to produce the fine crochet that has come to be known as “Irish lace.” The more affluent Irish families that could meet the expense to buy the lace earned the name of “lace curtain Irish.” Families had their own designs and motifs and closely guarded their patterns which were passed from mother to daughter. The particulars were kept so secret that many of them vanished as the families either died or fled the poverty for other lands.

Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey in Irish is Fuisce or uisce beatha. Irish whiskey is whiskey made in Ireland. The word ‘whiskey’ or whisky comes from the Irish or ‘Gaelic’ uisce beatha, meaning water of life. Irish whiskey or the water of life was once the most popular spirit in the world.