Local traditions and culture in Ireland

  • Local Customs
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  • Local Customs
    by stevemt
  • Local Customs
    by stevemt

Most Viewed Local Customs in Ireland

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    Old Irish King's Throne

    by scottishvisitor Updated Dec 12, 2005

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    Somewhere near Adare this interesting outside museum displaying early Celtic history showing what life in early Ireland was like. Standing stones engraved in Old Gaelic & Legends can be viewed.

    The stone throne is said to be the crowning place of Irish Kings - nothing about Queens - but took a seat anyway...

    Ancient Seat
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    Smoke free zone at Johnnie Fox's

    by kymbanm Updated Sep 18, 2005

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    Businesses all over Ireland were trying to cope with the new smoking ban. The law states that no one should be forced to work in an environment with second hand smoke. As a result, some have tried to cleverly sidestep the smoking ban ....

    Here at JF's, there was a lot of controversy about the 'smoking bus'. They felt they were within the law, as employees did not enter the bus when customers were present - this was treated like a covered porch for the smoking customers. Of course, those who supported the smoking ban were fighting this little loop hole :)

    The bus was locked up when we were there. I was told that since it wasn't that busy, or cold, on that night, I wasn't worth opening it up for use - employees still have to go in after it's closed to clean it :)

    The smoking bus ....
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    Pubs

    by magor65 Updated Sep 25, 2006

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    It's obvious that when you go to Ireland you must visit pubs. So we did and enjoyed it really much. My first encounter with Guinness was not very encouraging - I simply didn't like it. But my friends' son told us in Dublin at the very beginning of our trip: "Wait till you go to a traditional pub with live music somewhere in the west and you'll see that Guinness tastes great". He was right - with time I got to like Guiness quite much, although I would probably place Murphy's on the first position.
    But beer is only a kind of extra attraction to pubs; their essence is the unique atmosphere, especially on days when live music is played. At first I thought it was impossible that so many people could get inside: with all seats taken and several times as many people standing, new guests were still coming in and nobody seemed to mind it. When I looked around I was surprised that both elderly people and very young ones were having a great time singing and clapping their hands. It was not like a show though, everybody could join in and the musicians invited guests to sing to a microphone with their accompaniment. When we were in Sligo an American boy who was just to marry an Irish girl decided to sing a song for his fiancee and then people congratulated them and admired the engagement ring.

    I also loved the decor of most pubs and always tried to read the 'words of wisdom' and witty poems displayed on the walls. Here's the funny one which, I think, reflects the nature of the Irish quite well.

    When I'm in a sober mood
    I worry, work and think.

    When I'm in a drunken mood
    I gamble, play and drink.

    But when my moods are over
    And my time has come to pass
    I hope I'm burried upside down
    So the world may kiss my ass.

    A pub in Sligo A pub in Portmagee An evening in a pub
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    Irish history in Howth

    by kymbanm Written Apr 17, 2005

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    In July of 1914, Erskine Childers landed his ship in Howth harbor to provide weapons to the Irish Rebellion.

    A plaque commeorating this event can be found by the old Howth lighthouse, which now appears to be a rental home. The newer lighthouse is located further out on the promotory, and provides a wonderful view of the sea from it's base.

    Take the DART and get off at the Howth station. Turn left from there to reach the harbor, and look for the lighthouse ....

    Missy w/ Howth Lighthouse
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    Kiss the Blarney-Stone - watching it is more fun !

    by globetrott Written Jan 5, 2008

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    Kissing the "Blarney-Stone" is an old tradition in Ireland and lots of tourists spread the word about it to all parts of the world, so this crazy custom is still going on ! May I tell you a secret ? Its much more fun to watch it than to do it !!!
    According to an old ledgends there is a magic stone on top of the castle, and who-ever kisses it, will get the gift of eloquence.
    "Blarney" is also an expression used for words that are used by someone in order to achieve something, without really meaning to do what he had promised.
    Queen Elisabeth I tried to force Lord Blarney to acknowledge her officially but Lord Blarney used a thousands words in order to avoid that...
    The Queen finally shouted : "That is all Blarney, what he says, he does not mean!!".
    Kissing the Blarney-stone is in fact not really easy : At first you have to step up to the very top of the castle, lay back, while a strong man will hold your feet. You have to bend backwards and kiss the stone that is a part of the stone-fence outside of the castle-brim. There is an iron-fence in order to make sure, you will not fall down, but of course you belongings - glasses, hat ect. may do so - see my pictures !!
    I have not done it myself, and psst, don't tell anyone : watching that scenery is a lot better than doing it yourself !!

    this is where it takes place the stone seen from below the helpers love to assist the young ladies and now, bow back & kiss The Blarney-stone from below
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    Celtic gods were adopted by christianity

    by globetrott Written Jan 5, 2008

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    In Ireland the catholic religion plays an important role all over the country and obviously it was quite easy to "transform" the old celtic folks into good and faithful christians, simply because the christian monks did not forbid to pray to the traditional celtic gods, but rather mixed local celtic gods with christian saints...
    I found this very special place on my way from Donegal to Glencombcille. It is just a well under a bridge, with a small sculpture of a celtic "water-god" with a christian rosary and donations by faithful pilgrims and locals.
    You may enlarge my picture and see the well on the right

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    Smoke free zones in Dublin

    by kymbanm Written Nov 7, 2004

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    Since the smoking ban was new when I was in Ireland, I had fun watching my fellow smokers deal with all of the changes.

    In the Temple Bar district, I began to notice signs on the ash cans attached to the walls of the businesses. (They are hilarious, though this is the only one I got a picture of ...) I have to say, I found this particular statement quite true :)

    Dublin ash can ...

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    Molly Malone - the "tart with the cart"

    by globetrott Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    "Sweet Moly Malone" is one of the best-known songs by the "Dubliners" and other folk-bands, and everybody seems to know and to love Molly Malone, whose sculpture you can see in the centre of Dublin, in Suffolkstreet, close to Trinity College. Molly was living in Dublin of the 17th century - it is mainly a ledgend, you may read more about it , when you click on my link below !
    Molly Malone traded fish from her wheel barrow during the day and was working as a pr*stitute during the night. She caught a fever and died much too young...
    In Dublin’s fair city,
    Where the Girls are so pretty,
    I first set my eyes,
    On sweet Molly Malone,
    As she wheeled her wheel barrow,
    Through the streets broad and narrow,
    Crying cockles and mussels,
    Alive alive o!

    Alive alive o!
    Alive alive o!
    Crying "cockles and mussels!!",
    Alive alive o!

    She was a fish monger,
    And sure it was no wonder,
    For so were her
    Father and Mother before,
    And they both wheeled their barrow,
    Through the streets broad and narrow,
    Crying "cockles and mussels!!",
    Alive alive o!

    Alive alive o!
    Alive alive o!
    Crying cockles and mussels,
    Alive alive o!

    She died of a fever,
    And no one could save her,
    And that was the end
    Of sweet Molly Malone,
    But her ghost wheels her barrow,
    Through the streets broad and narrow,
    Crying "cockles and mussels !!",
    Alive alive o!

    Molly Malone - the
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  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    Guinness for you / ad gustibus non est dispudandum

    by globetrott Updated Jan 4, 2008

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    Guiness is NOT my taste for a great beer, BUT of course I also tasted it a few times, also because it is very hard to find any beer in GB and IRL that is similar to the kind of beer I am used to from Austria, Germany, Belgium, Russia and a lot more. In Dublin you can see their brewery and take a guided tour through the Guinness-brewery.
    I made the tour many years ago and payed around 10 Irish pounds back in 1990, today the tours are around 13 Euros and you will get a souvenir-glass and may taste a pint of Guinness.
    I know many people who liked that tour through the Guinness-brewery and still talk about their "Great day in Bear-heaven".
    --------------------------
    The Guiness-brewery is in just a short distance from the city centre of Dublin.You may take the bus 123 from O'Connell Street or bus 51B & 78A from Aston Quay.
    The adress is : Dublin 8 / St James's Gate

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    James Joyce

    by globetrott Written Jan 4, 2008

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    James Joyce was born 1882 in Dublin and died in Zurich in 1941.Joyce is certainly the best-known of all Irish novelists and you will see this great sculpture in Earl-street in Dublin, not far from O'Connelstreet (b.t.w. the local people call this monument the "Hick with the Stick" . His most famous books are Ulysses and Finnegan's wake.
    Close to the sculpture there is a museum about James Joyce.
    As you may see on my picture, it is quite usual for people in Ireland to sit on the basement of such monuments in the street and take a rest or a picknick, so it is hard to get a picture of just the sculpture :-((
    Every year at "Bloomsday", (june 16th) fans of James Joyce meet in order to visit all the places that Leopold Bloom, main character of the novel Ulysses had visited in that book.

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    William Butler Yeats

    by globetrott Updated Jan 12, 2008

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    William Butler Yeats, one of Irelands most important poets and dramatists was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923.
    William Butler Yeats was born in Sandymount, County Dublin, in June 13th, 1865 and he died in Menton, France on January 28th, 1939.
    Yeats is buried in Drumcliff, just about 7 km north of the town of Sligo. The inscription on his grave-stone was taken out of one of his poems :
    Cast a cold eye
    on life, on death.
    Horseman, pass by!

    the grave of William Butler Yeats in Drumcliff
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    weather

    by nipper1 Written Oct 19, 2005

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    the weather in Irland is your constant companion. one day rain and the other raining again. in between rainbows and sunshine, its gettin wet again. do as the locals do, when fine enjoy the great outdoors, when pissing down again there is always a pub nearby

    Irland, local custom
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    Excellent Countryside surrounds this seaside town

    by scottishvisitor Updated Dec 12, 2005

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    Warm winds from the Gulf Stream allow a lot of plant life to flourish here including Palm Trees. Huge Fushia & Hawthorn hedges adorn the roadsides although we were told that the fucia hedging was to be taken out because it is not native & replaced with wild rose.

    Palm Trees in Killiney
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    Crossing yourself...

    by sourbugger Written Aug 31, 2004

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    Many Irish people cross themselves (in the correct Roman Catholic manner) whenever they see a church.

    This is all very well, but I heard a story recently that the teller swears is true.

    On taking off from Heathrow airport, London staff were crossing themselves as they passed a church near the end of the runway.

    This apparantly so alarmed some of the passengers that Aer Lingus (the national airline) had to send out an official memo that banned the practice.

    Many Irish people will also cross themselves when they pass a statue of the virgin Mary, and when they pass a collection of flowers placed to remember a road accident victim.

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    Touch 'o hard stuff - it will knock your socks off

    by sourbugger Written Feb 9, 2005

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    The Illicit distilling of Poteen takes place in many areas across Ireland, although you are much more likely to come across it in the wilder parts of the west.

    Sometimes known as Irish moonshine, it is in fact similar to vodka as it is based on the Potato. Be warned (I almost put this on the dangers section) it can be very strong - although you seem to get drunk from the feet up, and when you stand up : you tend to fall down again.

    Being illegal, one should not ask for the stuff, but if you are really getting on well with someone a bottle might just appear !

    You can now buy commercially produced stuff, but it is obviously far weaker and less potent than the real McCoy.

    Drink that....see this !

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