Ireland is a breathtaking country on the westernmost edge of Europe, with gorgeous sights to see no matter where you go. It’s got winding narrow roads, rugged cliffs, mountains, and stunning waterfalls painted in the most beautiful colors. You’ll find eye-catching beauty within the cities and towns. With a plethora of Norman and Anglo-Irish castles to absolutely blow your mind and make you want to dive into their history, Ireland is a country with friendly people, hearty dishes, and delicious beer. It’s a piece of home everyone can enjoy. And when it comes to sending gifts to Ireland, you’ll find the customs as vast and interesting as the sights and people!
So if you want to surprise your friends and family in Ireland with a gift basket, look no further! This blog will teach you the ins and outs of gifting in Ireland during life’s special moments. Scroll down to read more about birthday traditions, corporate gift etiquette, romantic favorites, and other times to surprise your friends and family with gifts.
Romantic Gifts to Ireland
When it comes to sending romantic gifts to Ireland, you should know that romance is taken seriously here. Claddagh rings are a common and truly heartfelt gift, which are said to embody the affection and wholeness your relationship brings. But there’s a lot of romancing to be done before then! Surprising your love with romantic gifts to Ireland is a great way to help your relationship blossom.
What you send should follow the romantic classics; flowers, spa gifts, chocolates, and jewelry are all considered fantastic romantic gifts for a man or a woman. More important than the item is the timing. The Irish are romantics through and through, so be sure your love has a gift waiting for them on Valentine’s Day, their birthday, your anniversary, and a few sprinkled in just to see them smile.
When it comes to sending flowers, make sure you take care in your bouquet selection. You should always go for your partner’s favorite color and style first. However if you aren’t sure of those, and you don’t want your flowers to flop, there are some things you should avoid. First, refrain from sending lilies, as they are used for religious occasions. Second, stay away from white flowers as they symbolize death and funerals.
Wedding Traditions in Ireland
As seriously as the Irish take romantic courtships, weddings are an even bigger affair. The Claddagh rings move to sit on the left ring finger, with the point of the heart facing inward toward the wrist, and thus the lover’s heart. Many couples carry on the tradition of handfasting, having their hands bound with cords during the ceremony to symbolize their bond. Symbols of luck, such as horseshoes and 4-leaf-clovers, can be found mixed among the ceremony decorations.
While not every wedding may hold to such traditions, you can be sure all Irish weddings are a serious affair. Take care to send wedding gifts to Ireland that reflect the seriousness of the moment. Gifts of quality alcohol, particularly mead, will make their honeymoon more authentic. It was customary for years for the honeymoon to last a full month, with the couple toasting each other each night.
Birthday Gifts to Ireland
When it comes to sending birthday gifts to Ireland, the most important thing to remember is it really is the thought that counts in Ireland. Whatever you send, you’ll want to be sure that it arrives on time, or even a day or two early. Make sure you send them well wishes via a card, email, or quick call at the very least.
If you’re going to visit them for their special day, there are a few birthday traditions you may want to be aware of. The first is “nose buttering”. While it may not have started in Irelands, nose buttering has stood the test of time. Seeing the birthday girl/boy ambushed by family or friends and having butter smeared on their nose is truly nothing out of the ordinary. Spreading butter on the birthday person’s nose is also said to bring a bit of luck!
Another birthday tradition is something called “bumping.” Where the guest of honor is turned upside down and has their head gently bumped against the floor, the number of bumps equals their age, and of course, an extra “bump for luck” is a guaranteed throw-in. Of course, you’re also sure to find staples such as cake, eating out, and a few party games you can join in as well!
Corporate Gifts to Ireland
When it comes to corporate gifts in Ireland, you should know they aren’t expected. So the rules and etiquette around them are a bit undefined. Try to stick to the basics like chocolates, flowers, wine, or something representative of where you’re from. Should you send a business gift to Ireland, make sure that you are prioritizing quality over how much it costs. It truly is the thought that counts here.
As for when to send corporate gifts to Ireland, the most common time is after you close a successful business deal. However the holidays provide a great excuse for spoiling your business VIPs.
Unique Holidays in Ireland
If there’s one that’s known the world over about the Irish, it’s their love of celebration. With such a long and rich history, it should come as no surprise that the country is full of unique holidays. As time passes and people come and go from the land, many traditions live on in one form or another.
Also known as Pancake Tuesday, falls the day before Ash Wednesday. Before the fasting for lent begins, this is a day to have one last hoorah with food. The name Pancake Tuesday tells about the tastiest part of this holiday! During Shrove Tuesday, stacks of pancakes are flipped and eaten all over the country. It’s the perfect time to send your friends and family a decadent gourmet gift to Ireland to help them celebrate in style.
Saint Stephen’s Day
Saint Stephen’s Day falls the day after Christmas and commemorates a saint said to be the first Christian martyr. Also known as the Day of the Wren, some people will go around carrying a caged wren from house to house while playing music, singing, and dancing. Traditionalists dress in old clothes and wear straw hats while they travel from door to door.
The ancient Celtic people of Ireland found the first day of May particularly important. Bealtaine marks the first day of summer on the Celtic calendar. Historically it was welcomed with a festival of fire, with bonfires lit all over the country. Today the celebrations are more private and subdued. However, many people in Ireland still welcome Bealtaine with their own traditions.
Halloween is a holiday that spread all over the world, with tricks and treats enjoyed in many countries. Ireland is the birthplace of Halloween. The old Celtic people celebrated a holiday called Samhain that evolved over the years into Halloween. Many of the traditions of Halloween are rooted in Samhain traditions. Jack-o-lanterns were once thought to ward off bad spirits. If you can’t be there to celebrate Halloween with your friends and family in Ireland, worry not! You can still spoil your favorite ghosts and ghouls with Halloween gifts to Ireland.
Popular Times to Send Gifts to Ireland
You don’t need a particular reason to surprise your friends, family, and co-workers in Ireland; a just-because gift is a great way to show appreciation! However, if you want to pick a specific holiday to surprise your favorite people in Ireland, we have you covered with a catalog for nearly every occasion.
In Ireland, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are celebrated with equal amounts of joy! Many of the traditions enjoyed today are evolutions of the Celtic celebrations from years gone by. Forget cookies and milk for Santa. In Ireland, they live something a bit more robust: Guinness and mince pies! Families everywhere enjoy a lavish Christmas dinner. In days gone by, the Christmas table was set up to ensure that travelers or unexpected guests could also enjoy a warm meal with the family. To signify a home would welcome such guests, a candle is displayed in the front window.
Easter is a serious affair in Ireland, with over 77% of the country being Catholic. As you can imagine, there Easter traditions in this country are bold and varied. Easter is the time for friends and family in Ireland to get together, catch up, and connect. You’ll find many familiar traditions, such as coloring Easter eggs and Easter egg hunts. However, you’ll find other unique events. For instance, eggs laid by chickens on Good Friday are marked with a cross and called “Holy Eggs.” These eggs are then enjoyed for breakfast on Easter Sunday.
New Year’s in Ireland is filled with friends and family coming together to celebrate. The drinks flow freely, and the parties rage on from New Year’s Eve till the early morning of New Year’s Day. The Irish have a few other traditions to ensure luck for the year. The first, and maybe most vital, is a deep clean of the house. It’s a symbolic way to start the year off with a clean slate. During this cleaning, some families bang the walls of their homes with bread to chase out bad luck. For people that are single, holly, ivy, or mistletoe are hidden under their pillows on New Year’s Eve. The hope is that it will help them dream of their future partner.
The people of Ireland have a special relationship with St. Valentine. So special, in fact, you can find the remains of Saint Valentine in Dublin at Whitefriar Street Church. This church holds a special ceremony on Valentine’s Day to bless the rings of couples about to be married. Because of this Ireland is a popular vacation spot for couples around Valentine’s Day. As a bonus – if you want to impress your love in Ireland with an extra special gift, try including a poem by an Irish poet.
Scaffolding, by Seamus Heaney
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seems to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.
Saint Patrick’s day is something of a phenomenon around the world. From leprechauns to bold brews, March 17th is a day of merriment! Interested in learning more about this day? Read our blog, Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
Don’t worry about not knowing exactly what to send. Each holiday catalog is filled with regional favorites that are sure to delight your friends and family. But when in doubt stick to something sweet, something savory, and if they’re of age, a bottle of liquor to keep them warm on a rainy day.
You’ve learned about when and how to send gifts to Ireland; now what?
- – Surprise your VIPs in Ireland with a gift!
- – Learn Japan Gifts: Unwrapping Do’s and Don’ts.
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With 10 years of experience dedicated to unraveling the intricate nuances of gracious gift-giving, she brings a wealth of insight and expertise to this timeless art.
Sempronia has an unwavering passion for celebrating the profound significance of thoughtful giving. Through her writing, she aims to enlighten and educate readers on the etiquette, traditions, and subtleties that envelop the world of gift-giving.