Irish Culture

Noel Carter and Jordan Fiedler

Irish Holidays

St. Patricks day is celebrated by practicing Christians in Ireland, they celebrate this day by attending Church. This day is considered a Holy day of Obligation. Families afterward would head home for a large roast. St. Patricks day was originally an Irish Holiday but moved to the US. Wearing green on this day was brought on by Americans, this is not actually Irish Culture. Although, they do wear shamrocks pinned to their chest.

Irish Traditions

A coat of arms is a design on a shield of a medieval knight. The design was unique to an individual. The symbols on a coat of arms are meant to represent the achievements of the person, state, or corporation to who the arms were granted. Today, many coat of arms is created and trademarked.

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Marriage Traditons

Irish weddings have many unique traditions. For example, one tradition is tying the knot, also known as handfasting. Handfasting is an ancient tradition that involves the tying of the hands of the bride and groom well in advance to their wedding day. It is similar to an engagement, when they decide if they really want to be together.

One of the most well-known traditions is the Claddagh Ring. The ring represents love, friendship, and loyalty. Single ladies wear the ring on their right hand with the point of the heart facing the fingertip. When in a relationship, the ring is flipped around so that the point faces the wrist, symbolizing that her heart has been captured. And when the woman becomes engaged, the ring is moved over to her left hand, with the point of the heart facing the fingertips. The ring is flipped around at the wedding.

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Irish Funeral Ceramonies

After a loved one has passed away, the family will hold a wake and a funeral procession. Before the wake, the body will be washed and dressed. Once the body is “laid out”, a rosary will be placed in the hand, and a cross stretched out on the neck.

The wake will be held at the house of the deceased loved one, this is known as the wake house. In the house, a window will be opened to let the spirit leave but after a few hours will be closed again to keep them from reentering.

Families and friends gather to share memories of the deceased. Food and drinks are present at the wake.

Once the wake has ended, the body is then taken to a church where a forty-five minute mass will take place. The coffin is carried by six males to the hearst to be then taken to its final resting place at the cemetery.

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