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A country of picturesque beauty and rich customs – Incredible Ireland!

By Samantha Kirk Subscribe to RSS | March 19th 2012 | Views:
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When we plan on a tour or a holiday, which country comes in to our minds? It will be Switzerland, Australia, Bahamas and other famous places known for their tourist destination. But a country that many of us don’t know much about is Ireland. One could say that mother nature was taken up with the place so much that she had blessed the land with her incredible beauty. The panoramic view of the country is filled with colors and not just plain green! Ireland’s known for her rich culture and traditions. The Irish are known for being witty and laid-back, they friendly and enjoy being sociable. Ireland has also produced many famous English writers like Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, and Seamus Heaney.

The Irish have some unique traditions that were followed in those days which made their culture richer. A typical Irish wedding is one of the most beautiful occasions. As followed even today, a bride wears white to show her purity. She is expected to wear something old and new, borrowed and something in blue and a penny must be there in her shoes. But before the ceremony, couples who wish to show their commitment to each other take up a ceremony called “Hand Fasting” which was practiced during the Harvest period. They hold hands and a ribbon are tied around their wrists to show infinity. Like customs for weddings, the Irish follow a particular set of customs for occasions of death also. Although it is a sad occasion, the Irish are rarely solemn. They gather around and recollect the memories and funny occasions of the deceased. After a person dies, the keep the window open for two hours so that the spirit leaves the house and then close the window that the spirit does not re-enter the house. They then turn down all the mirrors, all the clocks in the house will be stopped and the curtains will be put down in respect to the deceased. Then they do something called “keening” during when the women will wail for the deceased. This usually happens when the body is placed outside, if the body is inside and the keening process starts, it is supposed to be in-auspicious.

Christmas is another occasion which has a lot of customs in Ireland. With most of the Irish being Roman Catholics, Christmas is considered as the most auspicious occasion of the year. The streets are decorated with lights, Christmas trees and holy symbols. The churches adorn a crib which is placed in front of the church. It shows the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the three Kings. A candle is placed near the windows of every home which symbolizes the guidance of Mary and Joseph before the birth of Jesus. Boxers Day which is also known as the St. Stephens Day falls the day after Christmas. The day usually comprises of Church, get together and a large meal to finish the day. Though a lot of us celebrate Halloween today, the day has a long history in Ireland. It is known as Samhain in Ireland which means Hallows Eve. Halloween is not celebrated just for a day but goes on for three days. On October 31st it is the Halloween day, on November 1st it is celebrated as the All Saints Day and November 2nd is celebrated as All Souls Day. The all Saints Day is dedicated to all the saints and prayers are offered to them. All Souls day is a day dedicated to the departed; they offer prayers to the departed which is believed to cleanse their soul which helps pass to heaven. Once I saw a ceremony of all souls day on my FiOS TV, it was an enriching experience which enabled me to learn a little more about the culture.

Samantha Kirk - About Author:
Samantha Kirk is a freelance writer. She loves to travel around the world. When she get’s time to come back home, she again goes in to her travel world through her FiOS TV.

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