Thursday, 15 March 2018

Symbols of Ireland

Ireland has a very rich heritage along with old traditions and symbols. With St Patrick's Day fast approaching, we look into the meanings behind the symbols of Ireland.

Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, is said to have used it as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. According to legend, the shamrock was a sacred plant to the Druids of Ireland because its leaves formed a triad, and three was a mystical number in the Celtic religion, as it is in many others.

Vintage shamrock charm, available from Good Time Antiques

Entrée dish with shamrock design lid, Birmingham 1910, available from Goldsmith & Perris

Spurrier & Co napkin Ring, Birmingham 1906, available from Goldsmith & Perris

The Irish harp was featured on the Coat of Arms because King James was not only the ruler of England but of Ireland as well. The harp has also been synonymous with Guinness since 1862, when it was used as a symbol on the first bottle label for Guinness. It is because of the harp trademark that Guinness named its first lager 'Harp' in 1960.

Harp charm, available from Good Time Antiques

Green is the national colour of Ireland, which is known as “The Emerald Isle”. On St Patrick's Day, it is customary to wear shamrocks, green clothing or green accessories. St. Patrick's revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, who would pinch anyone not wearing green!

"Genie bottle" by Empoli c1960s, available from Robinson Antiques
1950s evening bag with matching headband, available from June Victor 

The London St Patrick's Day Festival 2018, a three-day cultural and community festival across London will kick off today, Friday 16. More details here.

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