Trying to find gifts to bring home to the loved ones can be difficult. You want to try and find something that captures the culture, maybe something with a story behind it, and most importantly, it has to be able to fit in your suitcase so you don’t have to pay extravagant charges at the airport for an overweight bag!
With this in mind, here are five gift ideas that we feel capture our unique Irish culture, that will hopefully fit in your suitcase!
- Claddagh Ring
Claddagh rings are a perfect gift to bring home to your loved ones. Not just because they are a pretty piece of jewelry, but because there is a lovely meaning and history to them also.
Believed to have originated in a fishing village near the “shore” or “Claddagh” of Galway Bay. In the design on the ring you will notice a heart, symbolizing love, two hands, symbolizing friendship, and a crown, which symbolizes loyalty.
There are also different meaning associated with how the ring is worn;
- Worn on the right hand, with the point of the heart pointing toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and may be looking for love. So Lads, if you see a lovely lady wearing the ring this way, you could be in with a shot!
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship. Sorry, hard luck lads!
- On the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.
- On the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.
And a great bonus? It’s nice and small, perfect for fitting into that suitcase!
2. Wool knits
Originating from the Aran Islands, this knitwear is a lovely gift. Not only practical and long lasting, it is also very beautiful. The variety of stitches used to make them so unique and beautiful have all different meanings, that reflect the lives of the knitters and their families, and the different patterns can be traced back specific clans from the area.
They have a variety of products from jumpers, scarves, hats and more to suit whomever you’re buying for. A fashion forward gift idea with history too! Ye can have fun trying to identify the different stitches and find there meaning and trace it back to a clan!
Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet which was used to write the early Irish language. There are different schools of thought about the origins of this alphabet, some believe it dates back to the 1st century BC and others believe it originates from 4th century AD. Either way, it’s really old!
There are a variety of ogham gifts you could buy, plaques, jewelry and stones(depending on how much space you have to spare) . These can feature old irish proverbs of wellbeing and luck, or have your name printed on something. Most of these gifts come with a print out of the alphabet so you can see which letter is which. This is a really nice thoughtful gift, and something you could only get in Ireland!
4. An Irish CD
Ireland is famous for its trad music sessions, and if you can bring them to the trad session, bring the trad session to them! There are loads of different styles of Irish music, and I’m sure you’ll experience at least a few during your visit here. So if any tickle your fancy, pick up the CD and share it with them at home.
I’m pretty sure all CD shops in Ireland will have a selection of Irish music for you to choose from. If you do go to a gig while your over here, keep in mind that a lot of bands will actually have CDs with them to sell, so if you do like the band, don’t be shy! Make sure to ask them if they have a CD and I’m sure they would only be delighted to sell you one, they might even sing it for your friends or family at home!
Ireland might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of chocolate, but if you like milk chocolate, Irish chocolate is hard to beat. Because our Irish cows produce such lovely creamy milk, this translates into our milk chocolate. The only problem with bringing home as a gift, is that nothing at home will taste the same after trying it!
So much so, on an article published this year, of things irish immigrants living away from home, chocolate was voted one of the top foods they missed from home.
There are so many different varieties, you can even get chocolate with irish whiskey or even guinness in it. So if you have someone with a sweet tooth at home, this is the ideal gift.