It's said that Queen Elizabeth I coined the phrase "blarney" during the lengthy negotiations for control of Blarney Castle. The owner, Cormac McCarthy, Earl of Blarney, in negotiations with the Queen's emissary is said to have made long and eloquent protestations of loyalty and flattery to the Queen without agreeing to relinquish the land to the English. At some point she is said to have exclaimed "This is all Blarney. What he says he never means!" Today we use the term to say that someone is guilty of smooth, flattering talk or deceptive nonsense.
Ireland is well known for the belief in superstitions. Below are some examples of some superstitions that many believe.
Never give a knife as a gift unless you attatch a coin to it, to prevent cutting off friendly ties.
Break a mirror and you'll have 7 years bad luck
Crossed knives on a countertop will lead to an arguement
It is bad luck to walk under a ladder
Bad luck for a black cat to cross your path
It is lucky if a stray wanders into your home and remains with you, but if you move you must leave it behind.
Putting shoes on a table or chair is bad luck
A horse shoe is lucky if you hang it upright, but if you hang it upside down all the luck will run out.
It is claimed there are as many as 3,000 holy wells in Ireland - more than in any other country in the world. Where once a pagan sacrifice may have taken place, today a bride might look into the waters for good luck ,or a cripple might bathe in them, hoping for a cure.
It was believed that drinking from these holy waters or bathing in them would bestow the power of the Otherworld in the form of poetic inspiration, wisdom, or healing.