Holidays & Observances in Ireland
Ireland is a northern European country that shares the island of Ireland with Northern Ireland. It has a rich cultural background beginning with the Celts in about 600 B.C.E. Many other cultures have occupied Ireland since including the Gaels, the Vikings, and most recently, the English. Modern Irish culture is a mixture of English and Celtic cultures. Most people speak English and practice Roman Catholicism, though the Irish language is still spoken by some and Celtic beliefs are present in much of the everyday Irish life. Many of the holiday traditions practiced in the western world stem from Irish Celtic traditions. On such tradition is the celebration of Halloween, which is a combination of an ancient Celtic celebration and the Christian All Souls Day. The most famous Irish holiday is St. Patrick’s Day, which celebrates the patron saint of Ireland. It is now observed all over the world to honor Irish culture, but the celebration is most exciting in Ireland, where it lasts for four days and includes parades and fireworks.