Saint Patrick’s Day is an Irish cultural and religious celebration. Originally a feast day in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, March 17th has evolved to become a worldwide celebration of Irish culture. With Saint Patrick’s Day approaching, we thought it would be interesting to examine the man behind today’s high-spirited festivities. For without Saint Patrick, March 17th would be like any other day!
The Ireland Project
When most people think of Ireland, they think of rolling green vistas, cozy Irish pubs and of course castles! Today, thousands of these formidable structures dot the landscape, offering us a magnificent window into Ireland’s past. Since the turn of the last century, many of these beautiful buildings have been converted into hotels or bed and breakfasts. Offering a range of accommodation options, Irish Castle Stays are wonderful way to immerse oneself in Ireland’s history. With a variety of options that range from luxury vacations to quiet country retreats, who wouldn’t want to spend a night in a castle?
Ireland is home to Celtic music, castles, a rugged coastline and of course fairies. It is hard to disagree that this coastal country is one of the most picturesque countries in the world. There are many reasons that will draw you to the Emerald Isle. You may be like us exploring family connections, or you may be lovers of music, history buffs or outdoor enthusiasts. Needless to say there is something for everyone in Ireland.
But for those who’ve never been, you’ll want to check out these helpful tips in our first time visitors guide to Ireland before you book your trip.
When it comes to capital cities, Dublin is relatively small. What it lacks in size it makes up for in reputation. Dublin is an eclectic mix of history, culture, and debauchery. With its’ rich history, Dublin is home to many of the nations important historical artifacts and significant architecture. It is also home to many of Ireland’s best restaurants, shopping and more pubs than you could visit in one week!
There is so much to Dublin, which is why we love visiting so much. If you are going to the Irish capital, these are our 8 top things to do and see in Dublin. From history and culture, to fun and getting outdoors – there is something for everyone!
Located in Ireland’s Boyne Valley, Newgrange is a neolithic passage tomb that was constructed to align with the rising sun of the winter solstice. The Boyne Valley has a high concentration of prehistoric tombs and Newgrange is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. Newgrange is Ireland’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built by a community of farmers and astronomers approximately 5,200 years ago. The Newgrange passage tomb is one of the earliest and greatest feats of solar alignment, built 1000 years before Stonehenge. It is a majestic site to celebrate the winter solstice in Ireland.
In the spirit of the holidays, we wanted to examine some of our family Christmas traditions and explore which ones our Irish ancestors would recognize. Family Christmas traditions are practices and customs that evolve over the years, they adapt with changing family, cultural and historical dynamics, and they adapt as families find themselves in new corners of the world and with new members. These traditions are ones that we have grown up with – Meaghan in Cape Breton and Peggy in Alberta. We also believe that these are Christmas traditions at the core of many holiday celebrations for families of Irish decent.
Although Irish migration began in the 1700’s and has maintained a steady flow throughout the centuries, it was Great Irish Famine of the nineteenth century that triggered one of the greatest population displacements of modern times. In this second of our series on the Great Famine, we examine the perilous journey the Irish took to the New World. We hope this will provide a better understanding of the lives of your ancestors and will inform your future heritage travel.
Although Irish migration began in the 1700’s and has maintained a steady flow throughout the centuries, it was Great Irish Famine of the nineteenth century that triggered one of the greatest population displacements of modern times. From the years 1845-1855, approximately 2.5 million people fled or succumbed to the human tragedy that was the Great Famine. The majority sought refuge across the Atlantic, landing on North American shores, forever linking the two sides of the Atlantic. This is the first of a new series, that we hope will provide a better understanding of the lives of your ancestors and will inform your future heritage travel.
Like us, more and more travellers are focusing their holidays on exploring family history and embarking on what’s called ‘heritage travel’. It is all about combining the challenges, excitement and fun of a vacation with a history lesson. As you may be expecting planning your own heritage vacation takes a little bit of research to get the most out of your travels. Here are our tips to get started!
The Ireland Project is the journey of two friends and their experiences of visiting the towns and villages across Ireland from where their families hail. We plan to take you along on our journey to off-the-beaten-track places to eat, drink, visit — the places locals might frequent — revealing a different side to Ireland.