Tag Archives: irish

Getting Lucky for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so it’s time to don some green, lucky vibes, and a smile. You don’t always have to wear green for St. Patrick’s day, green is so last season. And a little pinch never hurt anyone.

St. Patrick or the Feast of Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated on March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death. It is an observed holiday, was originally a feast day but gradually became a celebration of Irish culture. St. Patrick’s day is a national holiday in Northern Ireland, where it is celebrated as a holy feast day, parade, and maybe going to catholic mass.

Dress up the month of March with some four leaf clovers, Celtic knots, and other Irish symbolism for a little extra luck.

Lucky Fashion

Celtic Symbolism

Celtic Pendants are gifts that are well thought out, meaningful, as well as beautiful; a gift that will never fail to please. Celtic pendants are gorgeous and symbolic, think Claddagh ring, knots, ropes. They’re a great gift for a significant other, for yourself, or a friend.

Claddagh: You can read more in depth about the Claddagh shape and how to wear it properly here, but very briefly the Claddagh pendant pertains to relationship status. When worn a certain way, it can mean single, friendship, in a relationship, engaged, and married.

Triqueta: This can mean a variety of things, but the basic motif is the symbol of three. Whether it is the father, son, and the Holy Spirit or the three stages of womanhood, the triqueta would make a meaningful Celtic pendant.

Celtic Key: While the symbols involved in the key are elements of other Celtic centralized images, the key itself is always meaningful and many women enjoy wearing keys due to varied amount of meanings that come with them. A key to a new door, a key to your heart, a key to the truth, the possibilities go on and on.

Celtic Cross: Most Celtic jewelry has some sort of ‘three’ symbolism. It makes sense that there would be a Celtic cross, following that line of reasoning. The cross is rooted in superstition, belief, faith, and also as an emblem of a person’s identity.

Luck of the Irish

Somehow, being Irish is the epitome of luck. It wouldn’t seem to stem from Ireland, as Ireland has sustained a great deal of hardship over the centuries. It may refer to the amount of luck to be had by the Irish when they relocated to America. Their biggest advantage over the natives was their ability to speak English. Speaking English paved the way for the Irish as they joined political assemblies; they could voice their opinions and make contributions to society in a way that made them appear ‘lucky’. Nearly everything lucky is associated with the Irish or the color green; clovers, leprechauns, St. Patrick’s Day, Claddagh rings, horseshoes, rainbows, pots of gold, itchy palms, wishbones, wishing wells, etc. Personally, I really enjoy the Claddagh ring. It’s a really fantastic way to thwart bad luck AND declare marital status. Here’s a quick guide to wearing a Claddagh ring. Consider purchasing a Claddagh ring to keep away bad luck woes permanently!

The Claddagh is not just for the Irish Anymore

Claddagh jewelry design originated in Ireland.   It is named for a small fishing village in Galway with the same name.  Legend tells that a young fisherman by the name of Richard Joyce crafted the ring as a token of his affection for his true love.  The story goes that the young sailor was

Galway

Galway

bound for the West Indies but kidnapped and sold into slavery.  His new master was a wealthy Moorish goldsmith.  Though a slave, Joyce learned the art of goldsmithing from his master and it seems an understanding had grown between the two men.

In fact, when King William III ordered the slaves to be released, Joyce’ master invited him to stay on.  Not as a slave or worker, but as a son in law.  He offered Joyce his daughter’s hand in marriage and half of his estate as a dowry, but the sailor could not accept for his heart belonged to another.

Painting of Galway by Daniel Fishback

Painting of Galway by Daniel Fishback

While in exile, he never stopped yearning for his one true love.  Upon returning to Galway, the ever faithful Joyce presented his lovely lady with a golden ring.  The ring featured two hands securely cradling a heart topped with a crown.  It was the first Royal Claddagh ring.

Though he had been away for fourteen years, the woman he loved remained as steadfast as Penelope from Homer’s Iliad.  She remained faithful.  They married and Joyce continued creating beautiful jewelry, but the design created out of love and longing became his legacy.

Today, the ring symbolizes the same as it did in the 17th century:  Love, friendship, fidelity, and loyalty. The two hands represent friendship as each delicately cradles the heart as though protecting it from harm.  The crown symbolizes royalty and fidelity and the heart everlasting love.  The claddagh design is a beautiful representation of both love and friendship.

For this reason, it is no longer considered simply an Irish treasure.  The distinctive design has  spread to all parts of the world and is given by anyone who wants to show their attachment to another.

Agate Celtic Earrings

Claddagh earrings or necklaces are popular styles given as gifts from one friend to another to symbolize an everlasting friendship.  Earrings, like the ones at the left, are a beautiful representation of one’s  true affection for another.  Claddagh rings are also extremely popular and actually have an additional meaning all their own.

If a claddagh ring is worn on the right hand and the tip of the heart points ourward, it means the wearer is single as their heart is open for another to receive. If the heart points inward, it means the wearer may be off the market soon. If the ring is on the left hand and the heart points inward, the wearer’s heart completely belongs to someone.  This, in addition to the qualities the ring represents in friendship, love, loyalty and fidelity,  makes it a popular choice for engagement, wedding and promise rings.

Whether you choose gold or silver, Claddagh jewelry is a great way to show love and affection for a friend, family member or significant other. It tells the story of two lovers torn apart by fate and returned to one another through chance.  Their love, friendship and faithfulness are as lasting as the style itself.

The hands are there for friendship, the heart is there for love. For loyalty throughout the year, the crown is raised above.

Celtic Jewelry Design

The Celts- barbarians or master jewelers? Well, both. They were feared by their enemies because of the violence thega_celticbracelety let loose on the battlefield culminating in the beheading of their conquests. By the Bronze Age, the world was more civilized and the Celts were busy learning and developing their metal-working skills. With this, came the well-known designs known as Celtic jewelry.

Celtic silver jewelry is probably the most common, but designs are also crafted in gold. No matter the metal, each design begins with the swirls, spirals and flowing lines that have come to define Irish Celtic jewelry. Their pagan belief that everything on earth was connected was the inspiration for these designs. Using these flowing lines, they create intricate designs, knots and even animals are incorporated into jewelry design.

To clean sterling silver Celtic jewelry, use silver cleaner. For gold, simply soak in warm soapy water or jewelry cleaner. Be careful if there is antiquing as it may come off if soaked too long or scrubbed to hard.

Celtic jewelry makes for a unique gift. Pendants, earrings, rings, bracelets, tie pins and cuff links can all be found in these intricate lovely patterns so women and men can enjoy a bit of Ireland. The wonderful thing is that these pieces go with everything- casual or formal, gold or silver. Wearing Celtic jewelry is like wearing a piece of art.