The Story of the Claddagh
The story of the Claddagh.
There are many stories of the history of the Claddagh but the true one represents the story of Ireland's unique symbol of love and friendship..The Claddagh ring.
It's a tradition that lies deep in the dark pools of the story of Galway. The ancient City of Tribes. The true tale Richard Joyce swept to svery from the little fishing village Claddagh, of time passing and the intervening years in which Richard became masterly goldsmith who was eventually rewarded with his freedom. When he at last returned to his beloved Claddagh he turned his fine skills to the creation of a jewel that would be renowned as an emblem of love and friendship: two hands cradling a crowned heart. His golden legacy remains today. Wear the ring on the right hand, the crown turned inwards and the world may see the heart is yet unoccupied. Worn on the right hand, the crown turned outwards, and it's clear that a love is being considered. But when it is worn on the left hand the crown outwards; two loves have become inseparable.
The Celtic Cross.
The high cross is possibly the best-known symbol of early Christianity in Ireland. The Crosses are self-contained monuments, generally sculptured from stone, some are as high as twenty feet, and their main characteristic feature is the circle connecting the arms. In many cases, they also feature ornate carvings. The great 16th century cross at Monasterboice and the Cross of Scriptures, Clonmacnoise are both excellent examples of Irish Crosses.
The Irish Shamrock
The Shamrock is Ireland's most celebrated emblem. It's association dates to the 5th century when legend suggests, St. Patrick used it to demonstrate the meaning of the Blessed Trinity while converting the people of Ireland to Christianity. The plant itself was reputed to have mystical powers. The leaves standing upright to warn of an approaching storm.
Whatever the truth of these legends, the Shamrock is cherished by Irish people everywhere and is worn by all nationalities around the world on St. Patrick's Day, one of the real international festivals.
Celtic Knot - Eternal Love
Celtic Knot work embodies a richness and pureness of ancient Celtic times. It dates back as far as the 5th century and was used extensively by the ancient monks to illuminate the world famous Book of Kells manuscripts. The interlaced unbroken lines symbolize man's spiritual growth, eternal life and never ending love. Having no beginning and no end. Each twist and turn has its individual magical and mystic qualities.
The Irish Harp.
The Irish Harp has many distinguishing features such as a sounding box carved from a single block of willow wood. T-shape centre-pillar, a heavy neck and thick brass strings. These combine to give the harp a unique sound for which it has been famous since medieval times. Irish Harpists also had a special playing skill and were much in demand among ancient kings for entertainment. The Harp is now a national emblem and appears on Irish coinage and all official documentation.
The St. Brigid's Cross
St. Brigid was a contemporary of St. Patrick who founded a monastery in Kildare in the 6th century. It is said she converted her father to Christianity while making a cross from rushes. In those Christian times farmers adopted the custom of making these same crosses at the beginning of spring to protect them, placing them in prominent positions in their houses and buildings. The tradition of making the crosses on the 1st February, St. Brigid's Feast Day continues to this present day.