Irish Culture & Customs Resources

In this section I share articles on Irish music, dancing, poetry, writing, story-telling and history. Many of the topics that we consider to be quite unique in our shared Irish heritage.

 

Browse the features listed on this page and jump to one that interests you, or enter a placename, surname or other item in the search box below to see related letters and podcasts.

Irish Culture & Customs Letters

Our Irish Christmas Traditions – What are Yours?

Looking back, candles played a big part in my childhood Irish Christmas traditions. Of course we had Father Christmas (“Daidí Na Nollag” – pronounced “dad-ee nah nul-ug”) but the countdown to Christmas was anticipated by the lighting of candles. First up was Advent. You are familiar no doubt with the Advent Calendar (Féilire Aidhbinte” –…

Thomas Francis Meagher Escapes from Tasmania.

Have you ever heard of Thomas Francis Meagher? He was born in County Waterford in 1823, arrested for his participation in the Young Irelander rebellion of 1848 – and when convicted of sedition, received transportation for life to Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania in Australia). Before that, he created what later became the tricolour flag of Ireland…

The Skellig Islands, Star Wars and an Irish Lent.

Earlier this week we had the start of Lent – which remains quite a big deal in Ireland. This was a time of year that affected our shared Irish ancestors in many ways. It was a lean time in the larder as the food from the previous harvests thinned out. It was also a time…

Have You Heard of The Irish Patriot called Michael Collins?

Last week, we spoke about the “Start of an Irish Spring” – how the ancient Celtic festival of “Imbolc”/Saint Brigid’s day celebrates the start of spring here in Ireland.  For the the rest of this letter we’ll have a look at one ancient Irish tribe that gave us a number of Irish surnames – and…

Imbolc

A Celtic Festival to Celebrate

This coming week sees the  “official” start of spring in Ireland – kicking off with the old Celtic festival of Imbolc which has developed into Saint Brigid’s day since Christian times. And that is the subject of our letter today! A Celtic Festival To Celebrate. The old Irish word “Imbolc” refers to the “belly of…

Irish Culture & Customs Podcasts

Come into This World of Celtic Music (#801)

In this episode we explore not just the world of Irish music – but 10 tracks from the extended Celtic family. We use music featured on the TV programme – “The Transatlantic Sessions” – to bring you music and song from Ireland, Scotland, the USA and much more. With lots of chat between each song.…

My Top Irish Names for Boys and Girls (#747)

In today’s episode we share some old Irish names – quite beautiful ones – that are just some of our favourites for boys and girls. Perhaps you already have one or two in your own family? We also share the story of Jimmy Hasty, an Irish footballer from Dundalk in County Louth and how I…

Top 10 Letter from Ireland Podcast Episodes

In todays special end of year episode, we look back over 2022 and select the 10 most popular Letter from Ireland Podcast episodes during the year. Something here for everyone! Let’s begin the countdown – starting at number 10 and working our way to number 1: At Number 10: “From The Vikings to The Normans”.We look…

A Merry Irish Christmas – 10 Old Irish Christmas Songs (#748)

In todays special Christmas episode, we share a selection of old Irish Christmas carols, songs and tunes. Something here for everyone! They include: With lots of chat along the way! We hope you enjoy! You can listen to the show on your computer/smartphone by clicking on the play button above (the triangle with the circle…

The Leaving of Liverpool, The Irish & The Beatles (#746)

This week we look at one of the most Irish of cities outside Ireland – the city of Liverpool on the western shores of Britain. It’s a place that has seen over a million Irish pass through its port to stay in England, Wales and Scotland or to head to places further afield such as…