download

A Few Romantic Irish Traditions on Valentine’s Day

It’s hard to avoid Valentine’s Day these days, and although some people have come to regard it as a Hallmark Holiday, it’s given us the chance to reflect on romantic Irish traditions throughout the ages.

So whether you’re a single pringle or looking for alternative ways to celebrate your love, here are some classic romantic Irish traditions:

 

  1. The Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh ring is said to have originated in the Claddagh fishing village in County Galway and was used as a wedding ring to symbolise love, loyalty and friendship.

Cladagh ring, Romantic Irish traditions

How you wear the ring is supposed to communicate your relationship status. Irish author Colin Murphy dictates the following rules for wearing the Claddagh ring:

  • On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and may be looking for love.
  • On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship.
  • On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.
  • On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.

 

Sounds much more romantic than a Facebook status!

 

  1. Irish Love Poems

 

romantic Irish traditions , Irish writers

From W.B. Yeats to Oscar Wilde to James Joyce, Ireland has long been home to some of the most eloquent voices when it comes to matters of the heart. But rather than list out all of our fabulous Irish authors; here’s a perfect example of one:

 

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

 

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

  • B. Yeats

If you fancy yourself a bit of a wordsmith, make Valentine’s Day 2018 the year you finally put pen to paper for that special someone.

 

  1. Irish Legends

 

We’re a country of great history, myth and legend and amongst the great Irish tales are ones of true romance. The story of Diarmuid and Gráinne contains all the ingredients of an epic romance: beauty, lust, betrayal, tragedy… Titanic, eat your heart out!

diarmuid-and-grainne

If you’re looking for things to do for Valentine’s Day, we are holding our very own storytelling evening here at the Irish Whiskey Museum.

 

 

  1. Leap Day Proposals

 

 

Legend has it that St. Patrick and St. Brigid made a deal way back when that women could propose to their reluctant beaux on 29th February. Whatever the dubious root of this tradition may be, it’s just one more example of strange romantic traditions in Ireland. Unfortunately, 2018 is not a leap year, so why not propose on Valentine’s Day instead?

 

leap year proposal, Romantic Irish traditions
emily flake

 

 

  1. Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

 

The tradition of matchmaking in Ireland is an old one, but is still very relevant to Irish culture today. Rural Ireland can be a tricky place to meet people, especially for those in more isolated professions such as farming. To that end, the spirit of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is still very much alive and well.

Match making festival, Romantic Irish traditions

With music and dancing providing ample opportunity to meet people, the hordes still descend on this quiet spa town in County Clare every year. Although it’s not held around Valentine’s Day, this is a romantic Irish tradition that has stood the test of time.

 

  1. Hand Fasting ceremonies

 

These days’ people tend to exchange rings during their wedding ceremonies, but in ancient Celtic Ireland there were some different ways of vowing to love and honour your new spouse. Hand fasting involved the couple clasping hands while a ribbon or rope was used to bind the hands together.

hand fastening, Romantic Irish traditions

Romantic Celtic traditions in Ireland are back in a big way, and nowadays it is more and more common to see hand fasting performed as part of a wedding ceremony in Ireland.

 

If rose petals, heart shaped cookies, teddy bears and romantic dinners all seem a bit old hat after reading that, take a leaf out of romantic Ireland’s book and get creative this Valentine’s Day!




Related Posts


cliffs of moher

Exciting times ahead with: Go Irish Tours

Go Irish Tours is an Irish-founded and Irish-run travel company specialising in package trips to Ireland, as well as limited […]

13.11.2018
IWM 1

Top 25 Museums in Europe… We made it!

Have you heard the news? We have been ranked in the ‘Top 25 Museums in Europe’ at the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice […]

07.11.2018
IMG_8437 (5)

Meet our tour guide series: Joni

  Joni – The Bubbly one  Our fabulous tour guide Joni has great knowledge and appreciation for whiskey at just […]

02.11.2018