Ireland boasts a rich heritage, diverse weather and intriguing history. The Emerald Isle can be a mysterious place to visit – and an even more exciting place to live.
Millions of travelers visit Ireland each year. As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, now is a great time to delve a little further into what makes Ireland so unique.
Ireland is a relatively small country. The island covers 84,431 square kilometers (32,599 square miles). United States residents might be surprised to learn that Ireland is roughly the size of Indiana.
Ireland is actually two countries. The Republic of Ireland comprises most of the island and is an independent sovereign state. Northern Island, which is the northeastern corner of the island, is a part of the United Kingdom, which also includes England, Scotland, Wales, and some smaller islands.
The harp is the official national symbol of Ireland. In fact, Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument as its symbol. The harp symbolizes Celtic society and appears on Irish Euro currency, passports, government documents, and more.
Globally, red hair is rather rare, with just 1 to 2 percent of the population possessing the gene that produces red hair. People of Irish descent have a higher incidence of red hair than people from other areas of the world.
Despite common misconceptions, it’s not always rainy in Ireland, even though the country gets its share of precipitation and overcast days. Weather tracking data points out that May is generally the driest month of the year in Ireland.
The original seven Celtic Nations are Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany (France), and Galicia (Spain).
It is believed that more than 40 percent of all American presidents have had some Irish ancestry. Ireland’s famed city of Dublin was originally named ‘Dubh Linn,’ which means ‘black pool.’ The moniker referred to an ancient treacle lake in the city.
According to Irish Central, there’s one pub for every 100 people in Dublin.
St. Patrick is known as the patron saint of Ireland. However, he was also given secondary patronage status for Nigeria, despite never actually visiting Africa.
Irish people are the biggest drinkers in the world – tea drinkers, that is. They consume an average of 1,184 cups of tea per person per year.
The place in Ireland with the longest name is Muckanaghederdauhaulia. It translates to “ridge shaped like a pig’s back between two expanses of briny water.”
Ireland is unique in many ways and worthy of celebrating on St. Patrick’s Day and throughout the year.