The symbols of Ireland are famous the world over as emblems of Irish heritage.
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Far from it. Irish people generally remain rather fond of their shamrocks and leprechauns et al, and proud that they have spread across the world as symbols of Ireland's culture and history.
Behind each of these emblems is a rich tradition.
Each one fits into Ireland's colourful tapestry in some way, typically through the blending of myth, reality and great stores of imagination!
St Patrick's Day
Throughout the world, more Irish symbols are on display on 17 March than any other date in the calendar.
Discover the history of St Patrick.
Irish symbols are a transportable way of displaying or alluding to Irish heritage. And these days there's plenty of choice in how you choose to present it. From the ubiquitous key-ring containing an evergreen shamrock to a full-blown Celtic Cross tattoo, it seems these emblems of Ireland can adorn just about any place, or any thing, you choose.
The terms High Cross, Celtic Cross and Irish Cross tend to be used interchangeably but there is some distinction. The High Cross refers to the ancient giants found across Ireland and lands settled by the Celts.
The Irish Cross, however, refers to the more modern representation of the High Cross. It is ubiquitious across the island, in graveyards, logos, tattoos...
The term Celtic Cross is vague. It can mean either.
Standing some 17.5 ft tall (5.4m), the Moone Cross is thought to date from the 8th century and is one of the best preserved High Crosses in Ireland.
Lush green and creamy yellow
A cow is a cow is a cow? Not when it produces really excellent golden butter.
Irish butter is naturally coloured, due to the beta-carotene in the lush green Irish grass consumed by the cows.
It has a higher fat content than most butters lending it a glorious richness, and making it an increasingly well-known symbol of Ireland's beautiful countryside.