Whisky, Guinness beer, St. Patrick’s, leprechauns, Claddagh rings, pots of gold… Ireland seems to be all about symbols and icons that have captured the imagination and hearts of the whole world. But the Emerald Island is much more. That’s why, today, we thought we’d tell you about some interesting facts about Ireland you may not have known. Curious? Follow us in this hunt for four-leafed clovers!
If the Viking and Celtic traditions appeal to you, you’ve found your pot of gold! This amazing country will have you yearning for any of its amazing cities. And, how couldn’t it? Its bohemian and cultural streets and its friendly people, along with its magical charm make it irresistible. So, get ready to be surprised with these interesting facts about Ireland. Furthermore, fall in love and let us take you there to enjoy them!
Our Top 15 Facts About Ireland
Is it music you fancy? Or maybe languages, festivals, or eco-friendly environments. Whatever it is you are curious about, we have something for you here. Because, in case you hadn’t noticed, the land of the leprechauns has something for everyone. Get ready for your visit and without further ado, here’s our list of top interesting facts about Ireland.
Interesting fact about Ireland #1: Halloween was born in Ireland
The ancient Celts had a celebration for the end of summer and the time for harvest. It was important because now, all their hard work throughout the year would bear fruit. Additionally, they prepared for the dark cold season. This festival was known as Samhain. And, it is right here where the legend of Stingy Jack arises. He was a blacksmith who made fun of the devil and, as punishment, could not enter either heaven or hell.
So, on Samhain day, when the lines between worlds fade, he was seen roaming with an ember the devil gave him. This ember was turned into a pumpkin lantern once the myth got to America. And it became the sign for trick or treating, as well as the face of a popular Halloween character.
Surprising fact about Ireland #2: St. Patrick was not Irish and there were no snakes
Well, it sure is an interesting fact that Halloween was born in Ireland. Especially if you consider who wasn’t: the famous St. Patrick himself. Yes! The patron of Ireland who commands green parades all over the world was actually Gaelic. But, he was sent on a mission to evangelize the pagan celts in Ireland.
Supposedly, to accomplish this, he vanquished all the snakes from the island. Demonstrating his sanctity and turning the religious tide. Except, of course, that Ireland never had any snakes to begin with Oh well, let’s just enjoy the parade.
Interesting fact about Ireland #3: The Titanic was Irish
Ok, so maybe St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. But do you know what was? The Titanic! Maybe you already learned this from the famous James Cameron movie. Or maybe your tears made you miss this interesting fact about Ireland. In either case, the good news is that the data is true. In fact, this is one of the reasons why Belfast is among the most visited cities in Northern Ireland. The Titanic was built there.
The ocean liner has a fully dedicated exhibition. And it is a must-see during a visit to the Emerald Island. You’re unlikely to see Leonardo DiCaprio or Kate Winslet, but it’s definitely worth it. Besides, who knows? Maybe you’ll luck out. After all, this is the land of luck 😉
Fun fact about Ireland #4: It comes sixth among beer-loving countries
Beer belly? Then you’re probably familiar with Guinness beer and Dublin’s famous pubs. But, there’s more to this. Among the interesting facts about Ireland is that it is the sixth country with the most beer consumption worldwide.
Indeed, in Ireland, every person consumes 98 liters of beers (per year, of course). In other words, here, you’ll never have to feel shy about your beer consumption.
Curious fact about Ireland #5: Shamrocks are not everywhere
If you are like us, then seeing a shamrock or four-leafed clover will immediately make you think of Ireland. But, turns out the Irish don’t feel the same way! For them, nothing symbolizes their country better than the harp. This interesting fact about Ireland happened in the 16th century.
Around this time, Henry VIII declared the quality of the Irish harp as superior all over the world. And, he also declared Ireland part of his territory. So, that’s why Guinness beer displays a golden harp. But, if you can see it, you’re not drinking it cold enough!
Interesting fact about Ireland #6: Why is it called ‘Emerald Island’?
Ok, this interesting fact about Ireland is probably quite obvious. It doesn’t matter where you’re standing on the island, if you look around, you’ll see green. The hills surrounding the cities, the fields you see on the highway, and even the shores near the sea. Everything is green! You’ve surely seen St. Patrick’s festivals, where everything is painted green, well there’s a reason for that.
Its vast and beautiful landscapes are interrupted only by more nature, urban parks, and the ocean. In addition, here is the Phoenix Park, the largest urban park in Europe, located in Dublin.
Important fact about Ireland #7: Rainy days ahead
You’ve probably heard about myths where the Gods sent rain to protect its chosen. Or to screw those they disliked. Well, it turns out it’s no myth at all, or at least, the sudden rain isn’t. You can be merrily enjoying a sunny picnic and then, out of nowhere, rains come at you.
It is so random you can even outrun it. But, what’s a fact is that the rains are constant. For example, in 2007, it rained for 40 days straight! So, if you’re coming, remember to bring an umbrella.
Fun fact about Ireland #8: The Irish dominated the musical scene in the nineties
The Corrs, The Cranberries, U2, The Pogues, My Bloody Valentine, Snow Patrol, Flogging Molly… As unbelievable as it might seem, that list could go on even further. In other words, the Irish ruled the nineties music scene with hits all over the place for every taste and preference.
But, did you know that these hitmakers were doing a lot more than pop? Take, for example, the song Zombie, by The Cranberries which narrated the trauma of an attack by the IRA, a terrorist group that claimed for the unification of the entire Island under one, Irish rule. And, who hasn’t heard of U2’s and Bono’s fight for social and environmental causes?
There’s a reason why these bands dominated the music scene. In one word: they were awesome! Did you expect one of our interesting facts to be the music you remember from your childhood?
Interesting fact about Ireland #9: Valentine’s Day in Ireland?
Although Paris, Verone, and the Caribbean tend to take first place as ultimate romantic destinations, Ireland can also be full of romance. Why? First of all, there are the charms to see in Limerick, Cork and the capital. But, also, did you know that the remains of Saint Valentine are housed in the Irish capital? Indeed, that’s how it is.
Thousands of couples flock to Whitefriar Carmelite Church in Dublin to personally meet Valentine’s Day patron saint himself. Bet you were not expecting this data among these interesting facts about Ireland.
Important fact about Ireland #10: Don’t call the police
It is not that there are no police or that it is dangerous to call them in an emergency. Only that, in Ireland, the name by which they are known is Garda Síochána na Héireann. Garda, for friends. And this is how it appears on patrol cars.
The name means ‘Guardians of the Peace of Ireland’. Knowing this can be useful if you want to study and work in Ireland. And it is a word that you will read among the visa requirements to travel to Gaelic lands.
Interesting fact about Ireland #11: Riverdance: Irish top export
Have you ever seen in the movies or videos that foot dance with hands kept close to the body? It originally was a very popular expression of Irish folklore. Then, it inspired musician and songwriter Bill Whelan to create what we now know as Riverdance.
It is a show that combines traditional Irish dance with rock music and songs. It was quite a boom in Eurovision and is one of the most famous musicals in the world. An original Irish product of world exports.
Fun fact about Ireland #12: Eurovision champions
Riverdance, the top bands of the 90s… Ireland is a very artistic and musical place. So, it’s no wonder that it is the country with the most wins in the Eurovision contest. It has won seven times, with four of those happening in the nineties. Coincidence? We think not!
It has also reached the final stage 45 times out of 53 times the island has sent a representative. In other words, Europe and the world can’t get enough of Irish music! Do you have a favorite Irish musician? Let us know in the comments!
Interesting fact about Ireland #13: A truly green country
We have already told you why Ireland is known as the Emerald Island. But here we are talking about a seriously green country. And that is because it truly cares for its environment. Yes, a very important interesting fact about Ireland is that it is among the top eco countries in Europe.
Among its sustainable policies, the number one is the tax on fossil fuels (a.k.a. petroleum). Also, there’s encouragement on the use of bicycles and a tax on tobacco. In fact, Ireland’s EPI score was 72.8 for 2020. So, come to the Emerald Island and take a deep breath of clean, fresh air.
Fun fact about Ireland #14: Red everywhere
Have you heard the stereotype about Irish redheads? Well, maybe it has a grounding in reality. It turns out that Ireland has the biggest concentration of redheads per capita in the world. But, why is that? Well, there is no clear explanation, but it has something to do with the MC1R gene.
It is the one that brings about the red color in people’s hair. It is very rare, it appears only in 2% of the people in the world. But, in Ireland, it appears much more often.
Interesting fact about Ireland #15: English isn’t the only language
Besides English, the other official language of the Emerald Isle is Irish or Gaelic. You may have already noticed this in the case of the police. But the truth is that it is present in almost all posters and signs. They even put Gaelic first!
If you’d like to work in Ireland it would be a good idea to learn Irish to have better chances. Something similar occurs with New Zealand, where knowing Maori can help your chances.
Discover More About Ireland with GrowPro
Here at GrowPro, we are pros at taking curious souls around the world to discover their own interesting facts about Ireland or the world. So, we are more than ready and capable to make your Irish dream come true. And not just as a tourist, with us, you can have full living experiences. Have a look!
We have been accompanying young people for years to many destinations such as Australia, Malta and Canada. Cheer up! The pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow, and we can take you there!