In Celtic folklore there is a magical set of cats or “fairy cats”. In Scotland they are known as the cait sith. In Ireland they are called cait sidhe. Whether Gaelic or Scotch Gaelic they are both pronounced as “caught shee”. The cait sidhe aren’t your ordinary felines, they are thought as fairies, even witches, and as spirit creatures that merely take the form of a cat. Those that have seen them describe them as being unusually large, all black cats with a spot of white fur on their chest. Generally, the cait sidhe is viewed as fearsome and was used as a symbol by Celtic warriors.
Irish Wit and Wisdom and The Strength of Friendship…
There has been a very long standing Irish tradition and understanding of the beautiful power and strength of friendship. The bonds of a Celtic friendship are a very spiritual connection that emphasizes the mutual importance of truth and trust between two friends.
What is the meaning of the Celtic Friendship knot symbol?
Any Celtic Friendship Knot is said to harbor the essence of friendship simply due to their implied symbolic meanings: Unity, union, partnering, joining, eternity, unbreakable, strength, and a host of like attributes.
Celtic Friendship Knot Jewelry Collection …
Our Celtic Friendship Knot Jewelry is a magnificent example of the spirit of true friendship. With intertwined endless lines, the Celtic Friendship Knotdesign represents the enduring bond between kindred souls. For true friendship knows no barriers and no end. A spiritual bond forever growing separately but never apart.
Have you ever seen an authentic Claddagh Ring? Chances are if you are Irish or you have taken a trip to Ireland you have seen this beautiful and unique piece of Irish jewelry.
By definition a claddagh [ klah-duh ] is a noun. It is a ring in the form of two hands clasping a crowned heart, given in friendship or love.
According to dictionary.com
Expect fine jewelry designer, Jennifer Derrig who is the owner and head designer at The Irish Jewelry Company described the tradition of the Irish claddagh ring as such.
The Claddagh Ring is an instantly recognizable symbol that represents true love and boundless affection. Like a bond between soul mates.
Jennifer Derrig, owner of The Irish Jewelry Company
What are Claddagh Rings?
Claddagh rings are 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. Irish Claddagh rings are a version of the fede ring has roots deeply seeded in long standing Irish tradition.
So what do claddagh rings mean?
The Irish say if you want to give a token of your friendship, love and loyalty that has meaning, the Claddagh rings may be the choice for you. Claddagh rings, are often mistakenly spelt Clatter Ring orClodagh Ring, like it sounds (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring. TheCladdagh ring literally meanseternal love, loyalty, and friendship. Claddagh ringconsists of a heart, for love with a crown, for loyalty held by two hands symbolizing friendship. Claddagh Rings have become a famous symbol of love treaured by Irish and non Irish all around the world.
A short history of the Claddagh ring.
Irish folklore says that long ago a young man was captured by Algerian pirates and sold into slavery from the small Irish fishing village of Claddagh. He was taught to be a goldsmith as a slave. Many years in servitude passed and he often wondered if his true love waited for him all this time. Over the years enslaved he stole tiny bits of gold from his master to make her a special ring to convey his love. He fashioned a heart for love, a crown for loyalty and hands as a symbol of friendship. After many years had passed he finally released from his servitude and he returned home to the village of Claddagh. Upon his return to Ireland to his unbelieavable joy he discovered that his true love had waited for him. SSo he presented her the ring he made during his time away as a symbol of his enduring love, loyalty and friendship forever known now as theCladdagh. Do you have someone in your life to which you pledge your love, loyalty and friendship forever?
Can a Claddagh Ring be an engagement or wedding ring?
Claddagh Rings are a universal token of love for lads and lassies. That’s means both men and women an wear Claddagh Rings as promise rings, or as wedding bands. They can also be given as an engagement ring as a symbol of friendship, love and loyalty.
Irish Wedding Bridal Tip…
The symbol of the Irish claddagh can be incorporated in many ways during the wedding ceremony. Brides can wear claddagh jewelry, give claddagh jewelry to the bridemaids and tie a claddagh charm to their bouquet. The claddagh can also be used in the design of the invitations, place cards and on the linens. The groom can also find grooms man gifts such as claddagh engraved flasks and claddagh cufflinks and so much more.
There are many unique styles of claddagh jewelry. Most claddagh styles basically have the hands, heart, and crown. However, the Fenian Claddagh, also known as the Dublin Claddagh Ring has two hands holding a heart and no crown was made in Dublin in the 1800’s. Then there is the Trinity Claddagh Ring, a modern twist on the combination of the traditional claddagh ring and trinity knot takes Irish jewelry to a new level of great design.
The claddagh ring is in its simplest form a true token of love. Whatever type of claddagh ring you choose or however your decide to incorporate it in your wedding day its is a symbol all of your guests are sure to recognize.
Many if our Irish American readers were probably raised by an Irish Mom or an Irish American Mom Irish, even an Italian mom if you Dad was the Irish one. Irish Moms and Italian Moms are pretty much the same. It hard not to recognize those enduring traits that make them both great moms. They are both their children’s number fan. They are encouraging, caring, and show unconditional love and devotion for us in their own special ways. Both moms have the power to make you cry in fear object fear of a simple cooking utensil, known as the dreaded wooden spoon.
You know you were raised by either an Irish mom or an Italian mom if you know all the important Saints by heart.
Every time you lose something, and you searched high and low for it without success and you just happen to mention it to mom she will undoubtedly say “Have you said a prayer to Saint Anthony yet?”. Rest assured, without fail good old St. Anthony usually comes through with finding your car keys. Every Irish mother or Italian mother has a favorite saint that they prayer too repeatable that they insist have never let them down.
“I have eyes in the back of my head you know.”
Were we all just stupid kids but for years we really thought our mothers had eyes in the back of their heads? Mom ALWAYS knew when you were up to no good or lying.
“Don’t make me get the wooden spoon….”
Oh, those dreaded words… even the sound of the draw where it was kept opening was enough to put the fear of God in you. You ran at the sight of a wooden spoon. No matter what the issue was you were battling her over, just when you thought you had her she would start counting to three. Knew the wooden spoon was coming out next.
Mom always slipped you some extra money
If you had an Irish mom, she is good for about a spare 20 quid until you are about thirty. If you had an Italian mom, it was you cannot go out without any cash and you always left Nona’s side $20 richer. It was for candy or ice cream when you were a little kid and later as you got older is was probably gas money.
Let’s face it, motherhood is not easy, but mom always made it seem like it was her greats priority and we were her greatest achievement. Whether you had an Irish mom or an Italian mom her enduring love is a true testament to the enduring bond between a mother and child. Remember to honor her on Mother’s Day with a special Mother’s Day gift like a piece of motherhood Jewelry to show your appreciation for all she has done and continues to do for you. I mean really , what mom wouldn’t want a beautiful piece of mother’s jewelry from her baby.
Many people and tourists to Ireland often wonder about the local crafts the country is famous for creating. Ireland is famous for a variety of crafts including wool sweaters and its famous world-renowned Irish Jewelry.
What jewelry is Ireland known for?
Ireland is known for beautiful Irish Jewelry. Irish jewelry is steeped in culture from Ireland with stories of love and friendship passed for generations. Irish jewelry has timeless appeal and is a wonderful representation of the vibrant Irish culture and they beauty of its people.
Irish jewelry is high quality and handcrafted inspired by all things Irish and made from the finest material by expert jewelers. When a customer buys a piece of Irish jewelry such as a Claddagh Ring, they are not only getting a beautiful piece of jewelry they are also passing on traditional Irish culture and custom.
The legend behind the traditional Irish Claddagh Ring design is a beautiful story if enduring love. Imagine Ireland in the days long ago. A young Irishman in love with a beautiful Irish lass was captured and sold into slavery from the fishing village of Claddagh. Many years passed while in captivity and he wondered if his true love had waited for his return. As the years wore on, he stole tiny bits of gold from his master to make her a ring for his true love. He fashioned a heart for love, a crown for loyalty and hands as a symbol of friendship. Can you just picture the tiny first rustic claddagh ring being made? After many years he finally returned home to the village of Claddagh Ireland, near the Galway coast. To his wonderful delight he discovered his true love had waited for him. So, he gave her the tiny ring he fashioned for her while in captivity as a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship. This beautiful token of love loyalty and friendship forever known now as the Claddagh Ring.
Another popular piece of Irish Jewelry from Ireland that it is famous for is the Celtic Cross. Irish legend says Saint Patrick a Christian missionary regarded as the patron saint of Ireland was responsible for the origins of the Celtic Cross. St. Patrick lived from AD 373-493 and ministered in Northern Ireland from AD 433 until his death. The Pious legend credits St. Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes. It is suggested that the snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids. Saint Patrick is also credited with teaching the Irish about the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a 3-leaved clover. Legend also says St. Patrick, while preaching Christianity drew a cross through a Celtic circle symbolic of the moon Goddess. Hence the Celtic cross was born. Today the circle of the Celtic cross is viewed as a of God’s endless love. The Celtic cross is one of the most popular and enduring pieces of Irish jewelry passed from generations to generation of family members today.
This elegant Blackthorn Walking Stick is a handsome cane worthy of being a family heirloom. Blackthorn bushes are found throughout Ireland though with modern agricultural methods they are becoming less prevalent making a Blackthorn Stick even more unique. Blackthorn is renowned for its hardness being one of the tougher woods in the wild. It has been prized for centuries as a material primarily for premium walking sticks.
The original Blackthorn sticks were 1 to 2 foot long Irish shillelaghs (the national weapon of rural Ireland). A good Donnybrook would not have been complete without a handy Blackthorn Stick on your side. In expert hands the shillelagh was so fearsome it is said that the English outlawed it. To get around the law, the Irish took cuttings from the Blackthorn Bush that turned the original shillelagh into a 3-foot walking stick. As a result the Irish kept their modified shillelaghs and the world gained a beautiful and functional walking stick known simply as the Irish Blackthorn. These sticks have a smooth black painted finish and a handle at about a 30 degree angle.
Like Irish jewelry the Blackthorn walking sticks and canes are a great way to carry on your Irish heritage. Or, for those who aren’t Irish, they’re a classy way to strike up an interesting conversation on historical stick fighting.
There are many Irish Halloween traditions in Ireland. One of my favorites is barmbrack.
Barmbrack is at the very core of the Irish Halloween traditions. The Halloween Brack, much like Christmas pudding traditionally contained various objects baked into the sweet bread. These various items were used as fortune-telling. In the barmbrack items like a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring were traditionally used. When an item is received in the slice, had a meaning for that person. For instance if you got the pea, the person would not marry that year, the stick, you’ll have an unhappy marriage , the cloth or rag meant bad luck or you’ll be poor; the coin of course meant you’ll have good fortune or be rich and the ring, meant you would be wed within the year. Other items also added to the brack were medals, usually of the Virgin Mary to symbolize going into the priesthood or becoming a nun, although this tradition isn’t very popular today.
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
⅔ cup/158 milliliters lightly warmed milk
1 egg, beaten
1 ⅔ cups/214 grams all-purpose flour, plus flour for dusting
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon clove
¼ teaspoon mace ( Mace is made from the lacy, red outer coating that covers the shell around the nutmeg kernel. )
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons/28 grams unsalted butter, softened, more for greasing pan
¼ cup/50 grams granulated sugar
½ cup/75 grams golden raisins
½ cup/75 grams black raisins
½ cup/75 grams currants
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
In a small bowl, whisk the yeast and milk together. Leave it to bubble slowly in a warm spot 10 minutes, then whisk in the beaten egg.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, put the flour, cinnamon, clove, mace, salt, butter and sugar. Mix well, incorporating butter with fingertips (or paddle, if using mixer) until absorbed.
Pour the yeast-milk-egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon (or dough hook, with mixer).
When the dough begins to come together, add the raisins, currants, lemon zest and orange zest, then mix to combine. It will be somewhat sticky dough. Dust lightly with flour, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough feels smooth. Pat dough into a rectangle.
Butter a loaf pan and lay in the dough, pushing down so dough covers bottom of pan. Stretch plastic wrap loosely over pan and put in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel, for about an hour, until doubled in size. Uncover.
Heat oven to 350 degrees and center a rack in the oven. Bake loaf on the centered rack for 45 minutes, until well browned. Carefully tip the loaf out of the pan onto a cooling rack. To tell whether it’s done, thump the bottom of the loaf with your fingertips; it should sound hollow. Let cool to room temperature before slicing, if possible. ( NYT recipe)
The púca (Irish for spirit/ghost), pooka, phouka, phooka, phooca, puca or púka is primarily a creature of Celtic folklore. Considered to be bringers both of good and bad fortune, they could either help or hinder rural and marine communities.The Púca can have dark or staunch white fur or hair. The creatures were said to be shape changers which could take the appearance of horses, goats, cats, dogs, and hares. They may also take a human form, which includes various animal features, such as ears or a tail.
The Irish Jewelry Company joins forces with the NACTA to promote networking and to development exclusive, valuable programs for NACTA’s retail members.
Lynbrook, NY, June 2016 – In spring of this year, The Irish Jewelry Company became one of the newest vendor members of the North American Celtic Trade Association, organizer of the popular Celtic Marketplace Trade Show, to generate brand awareness and to develop exclusive savings for the NACTA retail members.
“The NACTA is a great organization for Irish American jewelry vendors to network with Celtic retailors in the USA and Canada.” “We are pleased that NACTA accepted our membership to their renowned organization and we look forward to partnering with the NACTA to bring their members exclusive designs and savings from The Irish Jewelry Company’s wholesale division.” said Jennifer Derrig, owner of The Irish Jewelry Company.
The NACTA is a Celtic buying group that works with its vendor members to provide its retail membership base with “special deals and exclusive products” as well as “networking with fellow retailers as one of the most valuable benefits of membership.” The “NACTA’s mission is to facilitate communication among businesses involved in Celtic retailing in the USA and Canada and to develop and implement programs of value to its members.” According to the NACTA organization’s website.
To celebrate The Irish Jewelry Company’s partnership with NACTA The Irish Jewelry Company’s wholesale division is currently offering an Exclusive Savings of 10% to the NACTA Retail Members.