Cultural Info: Ireland
Did You Know...
The writer Bram Stoker, who became world-famous for his character Count Dracula, was from Dublin. The story itself was inspired by the Irish legend of Abhartach. Click here if you want to read the full story.
Ireland artists have won the Eurovision Song Contest more than any other country, adjudicating the first place in 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1996.
Many Irish families have last names that start with "Mac" or "O'...". This initial parts of the family name, respectively means "son of..." and "grandson of..." in Irish Gaelic, which is the ancestral language of Irish people.
Ireland is referred to as the "snakeless" land. In fact, since the island does not have any connection to mainland Europe (differently from Great Britain), there are no snakes on the island. The legend says that, in the 5th century A.D., St. Patrick exterminated all the snakes by driving them into the sea.
The festivity of Halloween has Gaelic origins, from the festival of Samhain, a harvest held on October 31 and marked the end of summer. Later in the Middle Ages, this festivity merged with the day of All Saints, November 1st, creating Halloween.
March 17 is National "Eat Like The Irish" Day! In Ireland, people celebrate by consuming traditional Irish cuisine, which includes dishes like black pudding, Irish stew, coddle, corned beef, and "ground foods" like potatoes and cabbage, all of it topped with some Irish coffee in the end.
After reading all of these facts, you still have questions and want to hear from a former study abroad student what they experienced in Ireland? Check out this page with students reviews!