Irish Traditions

Slainté an Irish Toast’s Pronunciation, Meaning and Origins

Slainté! It’s likely that you’ve already heard of and used this traditional Irish toast at some point. But are you certain that you understand what it implies? Check out our explanation of its meaning, how to pronounce it, and the contexts in which it might be used.

Each culture has its own phrase for the time-honored custom of lifting a glass to toast one another, life, family, and friends, and each language has its own name for this practice. Sláinte is the term used for “cheers” in the Gaelic language, which includes both Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic. In addition to Ireland and Scotland, you’ll hear it spoken in the Isle of Man as well. When you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a few pints of beer, you’ll want to utilize this particular kind of drinking toast. It is also appropriate to greet someone with “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” or “Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit.”

How do I pronounce sláinte?

The Irish word for “cheers” is sláinte, which is pronounced somewhat similarly to “slawn-che.”

What is the meaning of sláinte?

Sláinte is an Irish toast that means “health,” and if you’re feeling very bold, you can even add “sláinte is táinte,” which literally translates to “health and riches.”

Is sláinte Irish or Scottish?

The phrase “Slàinte Mhath,” which is pronounced “Slanj-a-va,” is really Gaelic from both Ireland and Scotland. Although the sentence is spoken in exactly the same manner in both languages, there is very little difference in the way it is spelled. The Irish write it with the spelling Slàinte Mhaith.

What are the Origins of Slàinte?

The expression “toast to” comes from the Gaelic languages of Ireland and Scotland, both of which belong to the Celtic language family. The Irish government has designated Gaelic as the country’s official language. On the other hand, the majority of individuals currently speak English.

Do you say Slàinté or Slàinté Mhaith?

You are free to use anyone, however, Slàinte is the most usual option. Just keep it nice and simple with “Slainté”.

In conclusion, It is to your greatest advantage to having a firm grasp of the meaning of this age-old Irish proverb regardless of the context in which you choose to use it in your daily life.


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Celtic Holidays, Irish Traditions

Irish New Year’s Toasts

‘Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arís.’
May we be alive at this time next year.

‘Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!’
A prosperous New Year!

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship but never in want.

Happy News Years from Our Family to Yours!

Celtic Holidays, Irish Christmas

Irish Christmas Traditions

Ireland, like most countries, has a number of Christmas traditions that are all of its own. Many of these customs have their root in the time when the Gaelic culture and religion of the country were being suppressed and it is perhaps because of that they have survived into modern times.

The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas eve is still practiced today. It has a number of purposes but primarily it was an symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter.

The candle also indicated a safe place for priests to perform mass as, during Penal Times this was not allowed.

A further element of the tradition is that the candle should be lit by the youngest member of the household and only be extinguished by a girl bearing the name ‘Mary’.

After evening meal on Christmas eve the kitchen table was again set and on it were placed a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a large lit candle. The door to the house was left unlatched so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveler, could avail of the welcome.

During Penal Times there was once a plot in a vilage against the local soldiers. They were surrounded and were about to be ambushed when a group of wrens pecked on their drums and awakened the soldiers. The plot failed and the wren became known as ‘The Devil’s bird’.

On St. Stephens day a procession takes place where a pole with a holly bush is carried from house to house and families dress up in old clothes and with blackened faces. In olden times an actual wren would be killed and placed on top of the pole.

This custom has to a large degree disappeared but the tradition of visiting from house to house on St. Stephens Day has survived and is very much part of Christmas.

The placing of a ring of Holly on doors originated in Ireland as Holly was one of the main plants that flourished at Christmas time and which gave the poor ample means with which to decorate their dwellings.

All decorations are traditionally taken down on Little Christmas (January 6th.) and it is considered to be bad luck to take them down beforehand.


The Gaelic greeting for ‘Merry Christmas’ is: ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’
……which is pronounced as ‘null-ig hun-a dit’.


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Every jewelry gift from The Irish Jewelry Company comes gift boxed in our signature style, a simple white glossy gift box sealed with a satin emerald green ribbon and our gold label. Included at no additional charge is an Irish Blessing, toast or story card. If this is a gift included at no additional charge is a card for the recipient, hand written for that extra personal touch.

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Irish Christmas Traditions – An article provided by The Information about Ireland Site.