Celtic Legends, Halloween, Interesting Stories

The Halloween Samhain Bonfire in Ireland

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THE BONFIRE

The Halloween Superstition says the bonfire is an Irish tradition to encourage dreams of who your future husband or wife is going to be. The idea was to drop a cutting of your hair into the burning embers and then dream of you future loved one.

Halloween was one of the Celt ‘fire’ celebrations. The bonfire has long been associated with Halloween and continues to be a common tradition in much of the Halloween celebrating world.

The ancient practice of lighting large fires dates back to the festival of Samhain  now known as Halloween. It is the celebration of summer’s end and the beginning of the dark season or winter. Samhain marks the end of the harvest and the old year. It is also the beginning of the new year and up coming harvest season . On the eve of Samhain, young people would go from house to house asking for offerings of food and kindling for the Samhain bonfires fires. The following day, the traditional day of Samhain, November 1st, people would extinguish their hearth fires and gather together to light large fires on sacred hill tops in honor of and to make offerings to the gods.

 

Celtic Legends, Halloween, Interesting Stories

The Dullahan – The Irish Headless Horseman

The Irish legend of the Dullahan, or English translation “dark man” is unnerving. The Headless Horseman or Dullahan is the Irishdullahan the irish jewelry company foreteller of death. The Dullahan rides a jet black horse with flames shooting from its eyes, carrying his head under one arm. Irish folklore says that when he stops riding, a human dies.


There are many versions of this scary tale. Some say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while other say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die.
But as with most evil entities the Dullahan has a weakness. The Dullahan can not stand the sight of GOLD. So you would be wise when traveling on this Halloween to carry a wee bit of in case you have a run-in with this headless horror!

Halloween, Interesting Stories, Irish Traditions

Irish Fairies and Anti Fairy Measures

In Ireland there are fairies, good natured and there are FAIRIES. If you’ve ever traveled at night on the winding Irish back roads in the countryside of Ireland you would know it is a kind of eerie darkness that puts fear in your very heart. One can easily imagine something moving over the moors or hearing the forlorn screech of a dammed fairy.

celtic fairyAs a child in Ireland you are warned to not play inside a fairy fort because the fairies don’t like it and might curse you or worse they might fancy you. Fairy forts are mounds or hills found all over Ireland. They are the ruins of circular mound dwellings in which people lived during the Iron Age such as Newgrange.

‘Away with the fairies’ is an old Irish expression referring to someone whose mind is elsewhere. It originated with the belief in the folklore that mischievous fairies steal souls and carry children off to the underworld, leaving changelings in their place.
A Changeling is a creature thought to be the offspring of a fairy that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. It is thought that fairies often fancy mortals and steal their pretty children. They carry the babies away leaving behind a Changeling, an ailing fairy child, or a log of wood so bewitched that they seems to be a mortal pining away in bewilderment.
They say if you wear your clothing inside out or wear bells you can ward off the malevolent fairies.

Anti-Fairy Measures for Halloween:12047118_10156157606690245_1081658573287531121_n

There is an old Irish folklore that warns of fairies and goblins that try to collect as many souls as they can at Halloween. Folklore says if you through the dust from under your feet at the Fairy then they would be obliged to release any souls that they held captive.

Celtic Legends, Interesting Stories, News

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

In-honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day….

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. WhenO’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.

graceomalley

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., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. Arghhhhh!

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day
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Offer good today on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th, only. Shop online at Talk-Like-a-Pirate-Dayhttp://www.theirishjewelrycompany.com/

Interesting Stories, News

Tips On How To Buy Irish Jewelry For A Gift

There is not a doubt that giving your loved one jewelry says they are special. But giving someone of Irish heritage a piece of Irish or Celtic jewelry, steeped in symbolism and tradition could put them over the moon. The sentimentality of Celtic jewelry is phenomenal but finding the perfect meaning is key. It’s a timeless gift, like a family heirloom that can be passed on for generations. However, successfully selecting the perfect piece with that special meaning can be a wee bit confusing for some people. Simply follow these easy tips and choosing that perfect jewelry gift that speaks for itself will be effortless.

1. How old is the person you are shopping for? You really want to take the age of the perstemporary imageon into consideration. If they are a child you’ll want something smaller in size, maybe with a touch of whimsy like an angel or fairy. If they are in their twenties to forties then have no fear and go trendy with an Infinity Knot or Stackable Claddagh Ring. If you are buying for somebody a wee bit wiser in their years then I would go with a traditional symbol of Ireland like an Irish Harp.

2. What type of jewelry do they normally wear? Start looking at how they currently accessorize their wardrobe. Do they wear earrings all the time? Are they long and dangling or are they smaller and close to the ear? Do they like bracelets and rings or are they a necklace person? If you are buying a ring it is important to get the size correct. Many online jewelry retailers offer a ring sizing tool. A simple ring sizing guide to measure your finger or an actual ring online. By using this simple tool it eliminates the hassle of having to make a ring exchange.

3. Is it a religious occasion? Having an understanding of the event or occasion you are purchasing your Irish jewelry gift for is very important. If it is a religious ceremony like a communion or confirmation you should go with something more traditional like a Celtic cross, medal or rosary.

4. On the other hand shopping for a birthday gift can be fun. Take the person’s personality into consideration. Are they fun and vibrant with a great sense of humor? Then go with something whimsical that has a punch of emerald green color like the Little Irish Devil Shamrock necklace. If they are a little more mystical and free-spirited try a legendary style like the Children of Lir pendant, “Irish Tree of Life” or something with a Celtic knot theme. If they are a bit more reserved then try a more traditional shamrock necklace, trinity knot necklace or a claddagh necklace.

5. Who is the person you are shopping for? If you are shopping for a sibling or close friend who is like a sister then you should consider a style like the “Celtic Sisters Knot“. For a more romantic gift we recommend shopping for a love knot or a claddagh ring, a symbol of friendship, love and loyalty. If you are shopping for a mom or mom to be then consider a style with loads of sentimental meaning like the “Celtic Mother’s Knot” or the “Mother’s Claddagh” collection. Any mother would be overwhelmed with joy by their meaning. If you are purchasing for a grandmother try considering a style like the “Family Birthstone Claddagh“. It can be personalized with all the grand children’s birthstones. What Irish grandmother wouldn’t love that?

Irish and Celtic jewelry is inspired by customs and folklore passed on for generations over centuries from countries like Ireland and Scotland. Giving a piece of Scottish Jewelry or authentic Irish jewelry like this as a gift is a wonderful tribute to someone’s heritage.

Jennifer Derrig, Owner of The Irish Jewelry Company.

Interesting Stories, News, St. Patricks Day

Irish-American Heritage Month (March) and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration for all things Irish. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. This parade became an annual event, with President Truman attending in 1948. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the President issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year.

Sports Celebration of Irish Heritage

100,003
Population of South Bend, Ind., home to the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. About 10.4 percent of South Bend’s population claims Irish ancestry.

Percentage of the Boston metropolitan area population that claims Irish ancestry, one of the highest percentages for the top 50 metro areas by population. Boston is home of the Celtics of the National Basketball Association.

78,390 and 16,167

Population of New Rochelle, N.Y., and Moraga, Calif., home to the Gaels of Iona University and St. Mary’s College of California, respectively. During college basketball’s March Madness, you will typically see these universities compete on the court, no doubt rooted on by some of the 8.4 percent of the New Rochelle population and 15.5 percent of the Moraga population that claim Irish ancestry.

Population Distribution
34.1 million

Number of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2012. This number was more than seven times the population of Ireland itself (4.6 million). Irish was the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German.

22.6%

Percentage of the population in Massachusetts that claims Irish ancestry, which is among the highest in the nation. New York has 2.5 million people claiming Irish ancestry, which is among the most of any state.

153,248

Number of people with Irish ancestry who were naturalized citizens in 2012.

39.2 years old

Median age of those who claim Irish ancestry, which is higher than U.S. residents as a whole at 37.4 years.

Irish-Americans Today
34.2%

Percentage of people of Irish ancestry, 25 or older, who had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In addition, 93.4 percent of Irish-Americans in this age group had at least a high school diploma. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding rates were 29.1 percent and 86.4 percent, respectively.

$59,220

Median income for households headed by an Irish-American, higher than the $51,371 for all households. In addition, 7.4 percent of family households of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 11.8 percent for all Americans.

41.1%

Percentage of employed civilian Irish-Americans 16 or older who worked in management, professional and related occupations. Additionally, 25.9 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 15.9 percent in service occupations; 9.3 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations; and 7.7 percent in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations.

68.9%

Percentage of householders of Irish ancestry who owned the home in which they live, with the remainder renting. For the nation as a whole, the homeownership rate was 63.9 percent.

Places to Spend the Day
16

Number of places in the United States that share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. The most recent population for Dublin, Calif., was 47,156.

If you’re still not into the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day, then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, N.C., with 3,669 residents.

Other appropriate places in which to spend the day: the township of Irishtown, Ill., several places or townships named Clover (in South Carolina, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) or one of the seven places that are named Shamrock.

The Celebration
25.9 billion

U.S. beef production in pounds in 2012. Corned beef is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish.

$21.5 million

Value of potted florist chrysanthemum sales at wholesale in 2012 for operations with $100,000 or more sales. Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
African-American History Month (February)
Super Bowl
Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14)
Women’s History Month (March)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
Earth Day (April 22)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
Older Americans Month (May)
Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
Mother’s Day
Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
Father’s Day The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
Back to School (August)
Labor Day
Grandparents Day
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Unmarried and Single Americans Week
Halloween (Oct. 31)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day
The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.1-main

Celtic Jewelry, Celtic Legends, Claddagh Rings, Interesting Stories, Irish Traditions, St. Valentine's Day

The Meaning of the Claddagh

The Irish Claddagh, pronounced [klah-duh] is called a fáinne Chladaigh in Irish. The traditional Irish Claddagh ring is a symbol of friendship, love and loyalty. The hands of the claddagh ring stand for friendship. The heart of the claddadgh ring stands for love and the crown is a symbol of loyalty. The Claddagh has actually been worn since Roman times! 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 rings holds a rather special meaning to those romantics of Irish heritage. hp claddagh ring 700x240

Shop Irish Claddagh rings Online at The Irish Jewelry Company. www.TheIrishJewelryCompany.com

Celtic Legends, Interesting Stories, Irish Traditions

Celtic Butterflies

The symbolic meaning of the butterfly is similar amongst many cultures throughout time. This delicate Celtic butterfly is a symbol transformation, inspiration, and rebirth. The rebirth is an important belief of the Celts both in the spiritual and physical realms. The butterfly in its miraculous way symbolizes transformation and rebirth. Celtic woman were uniquely aware of nature and would have be keenly aware of a butterflies metamorphosis.

Exclusively at The Irish Jewelry Company

Interesting Stories, Ireland, News, Peaceful Cottage

Peaceful Cottage in Ireland

Peaceful Cottage is an Irish self-catering cottage in County Mayo in the West of Ireland. Centrally located to all the best attractions Ireland has to offer. It’s an Irish country cottage experience for the whole family. Enjoy the luck of the Irish for as long as you stay.

Our Irish self catering cottage is located in beautiful County Mayo and is situated on the West Coast of Ireland. County Mayo is Ireland’s third largest county. Rich in history, and panoramic scenery Mayo offers a huge range of activities such as fishing, golf, horse riding, hill walking, and a host of other activities such as an authentic pub experience. Traditional Irish music is still a big part of modern day Mayo and can be heard in many of the county’s pubs.

World famous fishing, Ashford Castle & Cong only a 10 minute drive from the cottage. It’s an ideal touring and walking location. Gateway to Ireland’s major attractions. Connemara, championship golf courses, Galway City, Westport House & Zoo, Croagh Patrick, Knock Shrine & Airport, the Burren, Ceide Fields at North Mayo – all within easy driving distance. There are daily boat trips to the Aran Islands from Galway City. The cottage is situated in an area rich in history and archaeological ruins, with many historical and archaeological sites to explore.

Peaceful Cottage is a family managed cottage giving it that personal touch. Perfect for families with children and couples young and old, who want to experience authentic Irish living. The cottage is both peaceful and tranquil yet close to all the local attractions. Our Irish self-catering cottage is an the affordable Ireland family vacation.

Visit the Peaceful Cottage website today http://www.PeacefulCottageRental.com

Follow Peaceful Cottage on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PeacefulCottageRental

 

Celtic Holidays, Celtic Legends, Halloween, Interesting Stories

Celtic Autumn Equinox

September 23rd, the Autumn Equinox. To Celts – this is the Second Harvest, when the ripe Acorns fall from the wild Irish Oaks and we plant them in fertile soil. This wonderful time is the time when day and night are equal in length. Equinox meaning “equal night”.

In Ireland there is an ancient Irish equinox temple at Knowth, near Newgrange (Brú na Boinne). Knowth has a 100-foot long passage that only is light by the Sun on the morning of the Spring and Autumn Equinox.knowth-ireland