Ireland! Home to Guinness, river dancing, and leprechauns! But did you know Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish?
What about the origins of Halloween?
Can you try your hand at pronouncing the longest place name in Ireland? It’s 25 characters long!
Find the answer to all these questions and more with these 30 magical facts about Ireland!
- On average, the Irish consume 131.1 liters of beer per year, putting them at 4th place in the world for highest per-capita beer consumption.
- The harp is the official symbol of Ireland, making it the only country in the world with an instrument as it’s national symbol.
- Irish Gaelic is the official language of Ireland, but only 380,000 fluent speakers remain.
- As of 2017, Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest seven times, which is more than any other country.
- Because it’s an island, Ireland has no snakes, moles, or weasels.
- The oldest bar in the world is in the middle of Ireland. Dating back to 900 A.D., Sean’s Bar is over 1,100 years old!
- Halloween originated in Ireland from a festival called Samhain. It marked the end of the harvest season, and the beginning of winter.
- An Irish scientist, John Tyndall, is the person who found the reason for the sky being blue.
- Saint Patrick was not Irish. He was the son of Romans who were living in Britain. It is believed that he was kidnapped at 16 and taken to Ireland where he helped herd sheep.
- An Irishman, James Hoban, designed both of the White Houses in the United States.
- 90% of the Irish population is Catholic, but only 30% of those ever attend church.
- Ireland has the lowest annual number of reported UFO sightings in Europe.
- In Dublin, there is one pub for every 100 people.
- Located in Ireland, Hook Lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in the world. It dates back to around 1200 A.D.
- Irish land was not fit for grain agriculture until modern machinery and fertilizers of the 20th This is the main reason why potatoes were the staple food from the 17th century and on.
- The world’s oldest yacht club is The Royal Cork Yacht Club, founded in 1720.
- On January 1st, 1801, the Union Jack flag was flown for the first time in Dublin to commemorate the union between Great Britain and Ireland.
- Guinness is the biggest beer brand of Ireland, and is the largest brewer of stout style beer in the world. The original Guinness Brewery in Dublin has a 9,000 year lease at a constant rate of about $70 per year.
- Ireland is called Éire in Irish.
- Ireland was one of the original 12 European nations to begin using the Euro currency in 2002.
- Blasphemy is still illegal in Ireland.
- Off the coast of Dublin, there is an island with a population of wallabies. They were introduced in the 1950’s due to an overcrowding issue at the Dublin Zoo.
- It is a strange Irish birthday tradition to lift the birthday child upside down, and gently tap his head on the floor the number of times as is his age plus one.
- Hurling is an ancient Irish sport with prehistoric origins. It has been played for 3,000 years and is considered the fasted field sport in the world.
- Before the Great Famine, Ireland’s population was estimated at 8 million. Today, at 4 million citizens, the population has still not recovered.
- Until the 1920’s, on St. Bridig’s Day (February 1st) couples in Ireland could legally marry in the city of Teltown by just walking towards each other. They could also “divorce” by walking away from each other at the same spot, also on St. Brigid’s day.
- The world’s oldest solar observatory is in Ireland called Newgrange. It was built during the New Stone Age over 5,000 years ago. That puts it older than both the pyramids and Stonehenge!
- Ireland has the longest running talk show in the world. The Late Late Show started in 1965 and has only had 3 different presenters since its start.
- The longest place name in Ireland is called Sruffaunoughterluggatoora, located in Galway.
- There is a town that holds a festival called “Puck Fair” during which a wild goat is caught and crowned king for 3 days. It is hoisted on a 40-foot tall pedestal. After the festivities, the goat is set free back into the wild.