Although the entire world celebrates St Patrick’s Day, few really appreciate the culture and tradition that sets Ireland apart from the rest of the world, and that would include the rest of the UK as well! Any person with Irish ancestry will tell you they grew up amidst stories of Irish ancestors and many of the traditions, and a good body of folklore has been passed down generation after generation. No matter how small a portion of your ancestry is Irish, the first time you set foot on the Emerald Isle, you’ll understand why it was so important for your family to pass down generations of family history.
A Far Richer History Than You’ve Been Led to Believe
One of the things you learn on tours like those offered by Go Irish Tours is that this country has a far richer history than many people are aware of. You don’t need to be of Irish ancestry to appreciate the many awesome prehistoric sites such as Mount Sandel in the north or the largest neolithic site anywhere on earth. What about the oldest Christian monasteries in all of the UK? These are often highly ornate and tell the story of people who gave their all to church and state – which at the time were one. Check out the Askeaton Franciscan Friary, known to be the most beautiful of the complete monasteries standing today.
A Chance to Hear Native Speakers of One of the World’s Oldest Languages
Then there is the Gaelic language which is known to be one of the ten oldest languages on earth. Although you would need to search for communities still speaking the native Gaeltacht (native Irish language), they are there, even if hidden away in tiny villages. Even so, you will hear bits and pieces of the ancient languages still spoken today, just don’t expect to hear it spoken fluently unless you find one of these remote communities.
A Better Understanding of These Amazingly Proud and Friendly People
While most of the world believes that the division between the north and the south is a war between Catholicism and Protestantism, it isn’t exactly the case. Yes, religion does tend to have some important part of the divisiveness but more importantly was the rebellion against British rule. The rebellions led to an enormous loss of human life and this is perhaps the reason why so many clans are still warring to this day. When you’ve grown hearing stories of grandparents and great-grandparents lost in the rebellions, it’s hard not to be affected. However, that being said, it is important to get the real background of the people before living solely off the stories handed down which may have been amplified and edited over the years.
No matter how much Irish blood still runs through those veins of yours, a trip to the Emerald Isle is one you will never regret. With some of the most magnificent scenery in the world and a place where everything is still vibrant green, how can you go wrong? Enjoy a pint or two, spin a tale with the locals and get acquainted with your past, no matter how distant it may