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Book Review: Everything Irish
by Bridget Haggerty

A few weeks back, one of our subscribers mentioned that the grandchildren were coming for the summer and wouldn't it be nice to have some different activities on offer for their entertainment. We went looking...

Everything Irish is a delightful book created for the 4 to 8 year old age group - although siblings could be of great help here with their younger brothers and sisters!

In the span of about 80 pages, the author does a great job of introducing young readers to Ireland's culture and customs. It begins with the very basics - learning about Ireland's geography and climate. Then, chapter by chapter, we are taken on a wonderful exploration of our country's history and heritage. We learn about thatched cottages and how they are made. From there, it's on to that unique Irish fishing vessel, the Currach. And then, to keep the young reader going, the author introduces the first of a famous Irish legend - The Children of Lir.

There's enough in this book to entertain the kids all summer long - an interesting variety of crafts including how to write their names "in the Celtic way" and making their own little replica of St. Brendan's boat. The author also gives the reader the story of St. Brendan, the Navigator.

Add to this emblems of Ireland, including the harp, the shamrock, the flag and then songs to sing and even a quiz to test their knowledge at the end, it's our opinion that Everything Irish is a must have this summer for every mum, da, nana and whatever the Irish call grandpa!

If you'd like to have this book on hand, just click here: Everything Irish


Thu, Dec 7, 2017

Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*

Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.

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