Irish Etiquette – Irish Culture for kids

The Irish have customs and rules of etiquette that are entirely their own, yet might not feel totally different from the United States.

One of the first things a traveler might notice upon walking the streets of Dublin or Cork is how accommodating the Irish are to visitors. It would not be uncommon for an Irish person to assist the lost traveler and help them on their way. The Irish are frequently described as being warm and it might have something to do with being to willing to help out a person in need.

Since storytelling is such a strong part of their culture, it is quite common to find that the Irish place a lot of emphasis on good communication skills. They like to take their time in talking and in listening, and are have a very relaxed pace. It is not surprising that in this slow-paced lifestyle there is often a cup-of-tea time that is set aside during the day when people talk, joke, and enjoy the company of one another.

When meeting people for the first time in Ireland their greetings are more like the United States than like Europe. A handshake and cheerful “nice to meet you” are usually accepted as a nice way to be introduced to a person.

The Irish, in general, might be described as a quiet bunch. While they also like to have loud music and talk loudly about politics or sports, they are often a sort of reserved people. It might be considered rude or out-of-place in Ireland to be shouting in public or making a scene.

The Irish are a very sincere group of people, so speaking honestly and kindly is considered a very positive trait. They often have a very sharp wit and good sense of humor. Most Irish people will not take themselves too seriously, and being able to laugh and be good-natured in difficult situations is a valuable trait.

Being invited into someone’s home in Ireland is a nice gesture, and arriving on time is important. It is not assume that a guest would bring some food for everyone to enjoy, but it would be an appreciated gesture.

At the dinner table, the etiquette of Ireland would be pretty relaxed. Table manners are probably appreciated, but the atmosphere will probably be relaxed and low-key. At the end of the meal, it might be very nice if the guest offered to help do some dishes or help clean up!

In general, the Irish have manners that are a lot like our own. As long as a person is being respectful and honest, you will probably find that it’s a lot like home!

Irish Cuisine – Irish Culture for kids

Ireland is not always thought of as being a country with amazing food, but they are actually home to some very great meals.

Ireland has always been a nation of farming, and that means that they end up eating a lot of very fresh, very healthy food. It is not uncommon to find cows, pigs, and chickens in many people’s back-yards.

Ireland can be a cold and rainy place, so some of their best dishes are the ones that keep people warm and satisfied. This means that the Irish people frequently eat a lot of stews and soups, meats, casseroles, and fresh breads. Though potatoes didn’t enter into their cooking until the 1500′s, they are now a very large part of the Irish diet, and it is quite easy to find them in their dishes.

One of the dishes Ireland is best known for is bacon and cabbage, which is exactly what it sounds like. Unsliced back bacon, cabbage, and potatoes are boiled up and served, sometimes with other vegetables. Irish Stew is another frequently-seen staple of the Irish diet. It is a stew usually made from lamb, potatoes, onions, and Parsley.

It is easy to learn about the connection between Irish farming by looking at the dishes they cook. The Irish Stew and Bacon and Cabbage are very simple dishes and they show what what available to the people. Irish citizens often raised their own animals and grew their own vegetables, so their cooking usually involves the ingredients closest to them.

Of course, Ireland is a small island, so there is quite a bit of coastline to catch dinner in. In the West, Galway is a coastal city that produces lots of oysters, and in many of the fishing villages, trout, salmon, and pike are some of the most widely enjoyed fish on the market.

Though it wasn’t until the last 200 years that meat became more easily available to people in Ireland, it is now an important staple of their diet. Dairy has also become a very big part of Irish culture. The country is known world-wide for its excellent milk and cheese, like the Dubliner Cheddar Cheese (although it is made in County Cork, not Dublin).

Another big part of Irish cuisine is their tasty bread. Nearby in western Europe, one is likely to find all manner of sweet pastries and baguettes. In Ireland it is not too hard to find such treats, but their best known bread is Soda Bread. It is a very hearty bread that changes a bit depending on where you go. In Ulster, for example, one might find a whole wheat version of Soda bread called Wheaten bread. All over the country bread is a staple food that goes perfectly with their piping-hot stews and soups. From Potato bread to Soda bread, it isn’t too hard to find exceptional and healthy bread in Ireland.

Since Ireland is the home to such exceptional dairies and bakeries, finding a sweet treat is an easy feat. On a cold day, warm scones, sweet breads, and other toasty baked goods are easy to come by.

Irish Children’s Stories – Irish Culture for kids

One of the most important parts of Irish culture and history is their storytelling. It comes out when gathered around the fire, it comes out in books, and it comes out in song.

In the Celtic Fairy Tale “The Legend of Knockmany” we have a great tale of Fin M’Coul, an important and larger-than-life figure of Irish mythology.

In the story, we see Fin, the strongest and greatest Giant in Ireland living on top of Knockmany hill with his wife, Oonagh. Fin builds his house on top of the hill so he can keep safe and fight off intruders. Another giant lives in Ireland, or possibly Scotland, named Cucullin, who is terrible and strong and seems to be an angry sort of giant. Cucullin is determined to be the strongest giant in the land, and he has proved his strength over everyone-except Fin M’Coul.

When Fin learns that Cucullin is coming to challenge him, he grows afraid, because he knows that he is not strong enough to fight such a beast. Not knowing what to do, he goes to his wife for help. She comes up with a plan to deal with Cucullin, but tells Fin he’ll need to pretend to be a small child, and she’ll take of the rest.

When Cucullin arrives, he meets Mrs. M’Coul, and wants to fight Fin. Oonagh tells him that Fin  heard Cucullin was coming and flew out of the house in a rage, but that he’ll be back soon! While he waits, she asks him, cleverly, to do some of Fin’s chores, all of which require impossible amounts of strength. But when Fin, pretending to be a boy, sees him complete the tasks with ease, he grows afraid. Oonagh asks Cucullin if he’s hungry, and feeds him cakes with Iron hidden in them. He cannot eat them and breaks his teeth. But Oonagh tells him the hard, iron-filled bread is all Fin and his child eat, and Cucullin, fearing the kind of creature that could eat such terrible food, knows it would be foolish to fight Fin. Because of the wits of his wife, a terrible battle with Cucullin is avoided!

Fin M’Coul is a character that appears in many children’s stories. After reading many stories, it is clear that the Irish have a lot of characters and themes that appear in many stories. Lots of their stories involve fairies, goblins, elves, and other mythical creatures. Many of there stories are about overcoming obstacles through your wits, or the importance of being honest. Above all, nature and the land is very important to the Irish, and it is usually a very important role in the story.

Many stories in Ireland are about fairies, and “The Fairies Dancing-Place” is a nice little tale. In it, Lanty M’Clusky has a nice little farm and a nice wife. But, of course, he needs a fine house to live in. So Lanty chooses a piece of land on his farm that is said to be the playground of fairies. He was warned against building there, for the fairies would not like it, but he did so anyway.

He quickly finished the house, and was awoken in the night be sounds coming from the rafters. He heard fairies talking, and heard them say that the house needed to be taken apart by midnight! Lanty sat up, realizing he had made a mistake, and asked them to wait until morning, and then he would take the house down himself.

The Fairies were very happy, and left for the night. Lanty fulfilled his promise, and when he was digging the foundation for his new house, he found an urn of gold, a gift from the fairies for being so good and honest a man!

Here is a list of some great children’s stories:

-The Legend of Knockmany

-The Nightingale and the Rose

-The Countess Kathleen O’Shea

-Finn and the Aillen

-Finn and Midac

-Sean and the Selkie

-How the Harp Came to Be

-Tir Na N-og

-A Plate at Howth

-The Lad with the Goat Skin

-Conall Yellowclaw

-Hudden and Dudden and Donald O’Neary

-The Story of Deirdre

-King O’Toole and His Goose

-The Shepard of Myddvai

-Jack and His Comrades

-The Shee an Gannon and the Gruagach Gaire

-The Story Teller at Fault

-Beth Gellert

-The Sea-Maiden

-The Battle For the Birds

-The Tale of Ivan

-Jack and His Master

-The Horned Woman

-The Sprightly Tailor

-Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree

-Munachar and Manachar

-The Field of Boliauns

-Leary’s New House

-The Kerry Cow

-The White Trout

-The Salmon of Knowledge

-Little Red Bird

-The Day After

-The Story of Bottle Hill

-Finn McCool and the Great Fish

Facts About Ireland – Irish Culture for kids

The culture of Ireland is well known for a country of such a small size. Having only about 6.3 million citizens, (about the size as Washington State) Ireland has brought many parts of its culture to the world stage.

Though the Leprechaun might not be the most important part of Irish Culture, it demonstrates how important storytelling and folklore are to their culture. Developing hand-in-hand with their strong tradition of music, the Irish culture boasts a great deal of characters and stories. From the pot-of-gold held by the small Leprechaun to the great warrior Cuchulain to the creation of the Giant’s Causeway, the Irish culture has brought countless stories to life. Many important authors have come from Ireland, including four nobel prize winners: James Joyce, Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde.

This tradition of storytelling and myth can’t be separated from the Irish tradition of music. Using songs as a way to tell a story, or to honor an event in history is a common practice in many cultures, and Ireland is no exception. Traditionally, the instruments involved in their music were bagpipes, whistles, and drums, although today many Irish folk tunes also incorporate new instruments such as the fiddle, the guitar, and others.

The songs and stories that represent Ireland show the diversity of the country. Even today, Ireland is a diverse group of people. There are two regions in Ireland: The Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland. In each of those regions are many parishes, counties, towns, and languages. In Ireland, there are regions called “Gaeltacht” where Gaelic or “Irish” are spoken, and most people speak English as well.

From region to region, it is easy to see similarities in culture. History, and remembering the past is a very large part of Irish Identity, and so is religion. The most-practiced religion in Ireland is Roman-Catholicism with protestantism also being very widely-practiced.

Another important part of Irish culture is their relationship to the land, and to farming. Many of their folk songs will mention the green valleys, flowing rivers, or rocky hillsides, because Ireland is a strong farming community. Many people associate Ireland with the potato, which was introduced to their society in the 1500′s, but their green, rainy climate is the home to a variety of crops, and Irish cheese is among the tastiest in the world.

When not enjoying the garden, many of the Irish take part in or watch sports. Football and rugby are very popular sports, and fans of The Green Army are among the most enthusiastic fans. Many people are fans of a local sport called Hurling, which is a 3,000 year old game of Gaelic origin. It is said to be one of the fastest-paced field games. Players use a Hurley, or stick-like tool, to hit a ball around a field, aiming to get it into the other team’s goal.

Even though Ireland is a small country without a huge military of excess of wealth, its cultural influence is easy to see today in the United States. St. Patrick’s Day, and Irish holiday, is practiced nearly everywhere. Clovers and Celtic Harps are easily recognized symbols of Irish Culture. From the popularity of Irish-themed pubs and restaurants to modern bands like Thin Lizzy and U2, it is clear that there is something very strong and special about the Irish way of life.