Fall in Grá with Ireland
While the Irish may not be famous for their romantic nature, take a closer look and you’ll find we’re actually quite a romantic nation at heart.
Grá is the Irish word for love
and there are many ways to say “I love you” in Irish:
Tá mé i ngrá leat means I love you
Mo Anam Cara means My Soul Mate
A chuisle mo chroi means The Pulse of my Heart
Is tú mo rogha means You are my Chosen One.
Our beautiful island is blessed with some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. From the rolling green fields of Kerry to the sparkling lakes of Killarney, from the dramatic Cliffs of Moher to the magical Glendalough and from the epic Giant’s Causeway to the wild Connemara landscape, you couldn’t wish for a more romantic backdrop.
Ireland’s Romantic Poets and Writers
Surrounded by such inspirational beauty, it’s no wonder Ireland produced so many acclaimed writers and poets. The Irish have always had a way with words. If you’ve got something to say to someone you love this Valentine’s Day but can’t quite find the words, why not borrow some from one of our romantic writers?
Here a few of our favourite quotes:
“I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven – W.B. Yeats
“As a bell that is rung
or a wonder told shyly,
And O she was the Sunday
in every week.”
The Planter’s Daughter – Austin Clarke
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”
And, not quite as poetic, but no less true:
“The most important things to do in the world are
to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.”
Ireland’s Greatest Love Story – The Legend of Diarmuid and Gráinne
Known for our love of storytelling, Irish folklore abounds with tales of star-crossed lovers and this is one of our favorites. Gráinne, who is engaged to Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the elderly leader of the Fianna, falls in love with one of his young warriors, the irresistibly handsome Diarmuid. The two elope and go on the run across Ireland, hunted relentlessly by Fionn and hiding out in some of Ireland’s most famous caves and landmarks. Years later, after rekindling their friendship, Diarmuid is attacked by a wild boar while out hunting with Fionn. Gifted with the power of healing, Fionn has a chance to save him but the bitterness over stealing his fiancé resurfaces and he delays until it is too late.
Irish Love Tokens
Irish people have had many different ways of showing their affection down through the years. In Medieval times ring-shaped brooches were popular love tokens. In Celtic times lovers exchanged intricate harvest knots at the harvest festival as symbols of their unconditional and everlasting love and the knot motif is still popular today in Celtic-style jewelry.
The Claddagh symbol is another popular love token and the Claddagh ring was first seen in Galway in the 17th Century. It typically shows two hands holding a heart with a crown on it. How it’s worn reflects your relationship status – the heart pointed outwards means you’re looking for love and pointed inwards means you’re in a relationship.
While jewelry seems an obvious choice, a somewhat stranger love token was a hurling ball or sliotar made from plaited cow and horse hair made by women for hurlers, often with a bit of their own hair woven in for good luck. (We think most people would probably prefer the jewelry!)
Buy a gift to show you care
Looking for a more modern Irish gift? Check out our wonderful selection of thoughtful Valentine’s gift ideas on carrollsirishgifts.com. With everything from chocolate and candles to jewelry, knitwear and homeware, we’ve got the perfect romantic gift.