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Claddagh Rings on St Patrick’s Day

Connecting with our Celtic Cousins

As March unfolds, the air is crisp and the morning Edinburgh sun peeps up through the dark underbelly of the Old Town. Back in the 1800s, The Cowgate, dubbed  ‘Little Ireland’, was home to an estimated 14,000 Irish people.  Due to religious differences between the Irish and the local population, they didn’t have an easy time of it in Edinburgh and faced much discrimination.  The Cowgate, which runs from the Scottish Parliament to The Grassmarket, is nowadays legendary for bars, clubs and parties.  As the world gears up to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we acknowledge and honour our connection with our Celtic cousins.

Edinburgh’s Cowgate

St. Patrick’s Day: a Global Celebration of Irish identity

Celebrated on the 17th of March each year, St Patrick’s Day is a hugely popular event commemorating the patron saint of Ireland.  What began as a religious feast day in the early 17th century, has evolved into a global celebration of Irish culture and identity.  From parades to traditional music, dance and vibrant seas of green, the day brings together people from all backgrounds.  St Patrick’s Day is a global phenomenon, mostly because Ireland has the highest native-born population living overseas of any country in the world.

Celtic Connection: The Claddagh Ring

A rich interwoven knot of Celtic connections and cycles exists between Ireland and Scotland.  Both nations boast a rich tapestry of folklore, music, dance, ritual and language that reflect their shared ancestral Celtic roots. Despite the distinct identities, the cultural ties between Ireland and Scotland are sound and enduring.  The designs and symbols on Celtic jewellery are shared by all Celtic nations, as are the pagan Celtic festivals which follow the flow and cycles of the seasons. 

Royal Mile Silver - Silver Claddagh with green gemstone
Royal Mile Silver - Men's Chunky Claddagh Ring
Royal Mile Silver - Celtic Claddagh Ring
Royal Mile Silver - Gold Claddagh ring with green gemstone

What Does a Claddagh Ring Mean?

While the Claddagh ring is quintessentially Irish, its influence extends beyond the Emerald Isle, reaching across the North Channel of the Irish Sea over to Scotland.  The Claddagh ring is the perfect token of our connection – a timeless symbol of friendship, love and loyalty.  Two hands (friendship) clasp a heart (love), topped with a crown (loyalty) – three essential elements of any life-long relationship.

The Legend of the Claddagh Ring

Legend has it that the Claddagh ring began its illustrious climb to fame in the fishing village of Claddagh near Galway, Ireland.  During the 17th century Richard Joyce, a local goldsmith, crafted the first Claddagh ring while enslaved by Algerian pirates. Upon his release, he returned to Claddagh and presented the ring to his beloved, symbolising his enduring love and loyalty despite their separation.

How to Wear a Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh ring is a popular gift between lovers and good friends.  Our quality crafted Sterling Silver Claddagh Rings can be worn in 2 main ways.  If you are married or betrothed, the heart of the ring is worn towards the wrist.  If you are happily single, or wearing a Claddagh ring gifted by a friend, it is worn towards one’s fingertips. 

Royal Mile Silver - Celtic Claddagh Ring, Claddagh ring with garnet on models hand

The Claddagh Ring & Luckenbooth Pendant: A Gift for the Love in Your Life

In Scotland, a similar tradition exists in the form of the Scottish Luckenbooth. Like the Claddagh ring, the Luckenbooth symbolises love and loyalty – often featuring hearts, crowns, and intricate designs. Historically exchanged between lovers or gifted to mark significant milestones, the Luckenbooth embodies deep connections we can make to each other and ourselves.

Royal Mile Silver - Luckenbooth Pendant
Luckenbooth Pendant – Royal Mile Silver

Celebrating Unity in Diversity

As we raise a toast to Ireland, let us also celebrate the interconnectedness of our shared Celtic heritage.  Whether you’re donning green attire, exchanging Claddagh rings, or simply enjoying a pint of Guinness, may the spirit of St Patrick’s Day fill your heart with joy and friendship. Sláinte

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