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Irish Heritage Ideas & Traditions by Erin

by Erin, posted to Parenting

Now that I am 3 generations from Ireland, I need to do a little more work to keep up some Irish traditions. This includes things for St. Patrick's day and all year round! I want my kids to know about their Irish heritage and things that were so important to their grandparents. In preparation for ... More »

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TRADITION: Luck and Potatoes Game

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and my childhood home was near a...more

Suggested by Eden Godsoe

I saw this on the blog "Kate: Normal Girl" and thought it was a fun addition to your list. She describes it like an Easter egg hunt but the parents hide potatoes instead of eggs (actually the leprechauns turn the rocks into potatoes.) Later they make St. Patrick’s Day Potato Soup. How fun!

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Traditional Irish Breakfast

A Great Irish Breakfast treat that comes with all the side orders that...more

Suggested by Courtney K.

My mom is from Ireland and my favorite thing she would do was make an Irish Breakfast on St. Paddie's day and also a few times throughout of the year. It's a full breakfast, heavy, rich, and not for one on a diet but this is very traditional and something fun to do every once and a while.

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TRADITION: To Catch a Leprechaun

Three clever traps for taking a stand against leprechauns' St....more

(suggestion from Christy Ryan Swildens) If you have ever fallen victim to leprechaun-related mischief around St. Patrick's Day, then you and your children may want to get creative and build a trap!

Eden Godsoe: My kids are very into Leprechauns and build all sorts of traps to catch them. You can also use Leprechauns as a scapegoat if you want to throw out (or eat) some of the kids' candy.

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BOOK ON TAPE: Celtic Treasures

Ancient stories of bards and warriors told with passion and...more

Great stories (ages 6 and up) to listen to in the car. Listeners are carried away to a time that may have existed only in the imagination of the bards, but which lives on today in an oral tradition that will not let it die. From Angus' Dream to Finn MacCoul and the Battle for Tara...

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This magical story will set Irish eyes a-smiling! The happy Irish...more

The kids love this story and we have read it many, many times. Plus it is written by a family member, Michael Garland, so you know it's good :)

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MUSIC: The Chieftans

More than 40 years on, the Chieftains are still the world's nonpareil...more

The Essential Chieftains is a amazing two-disc collection spanning four decades of music. Samples from disc 2 include recordings with the Corrs, Van Morrison, Bela Fleck, Sinead O'Connor, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Emmylou Harris, Linda Rondstadt, Los Lobos, Sting, Elvis Costello and the Rankins. The Chieftains' ability to find the common ground between various styles and cultural traditions is nothing short of remarkable.

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MOVIE: Into the West

Set mainly in the Ireland the tourist board didn't tell you about,...more

Touches on the legend of Tir ne nog. The two boys escape the projects on an apparently magical white horse, Tir Na Nog. For better or for worse--mainly better--this is not the story Disney would have told. Won best family video for 1994.

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TRADITION: Host the Ultimate St. Patty's Day Party

Celebrate the Luck of the Irish with all things green and some festive...more

Great ideas!

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TRADITIONS: Fly Your Colors

Irish Flag: 3 x 5 ft Polyester flag with 2 brass grommets.

Fly the Irish flag - especially in March.

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MOVIE: The Quiet Man

Haunted by an incident that happened in the ring, American boxer Sean...more

(Recommended by Peggy Garland & Owen McBride). This was an important and personal project for John Ford (whose real name was Sean O'Feeney). That his heart and those of his cast members were in what they were doing shows through. The fact that much of the film was shot on location in Ireland (on location shoots were somewhat unusual at the time) also adds an authentic flavor.

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MUSIC: Long Journey Home Soundrack (1998 Television Mini-series)

Sissel, Irish Film Orchestra, Van Morrison, The Chieftains, Sinead...more

(Suggested by Peggy Garland). This is thought to be one of the best Celtic albums ever. Like most Irish music, it reflects the beauty and heart of the Irish homeland, but what makes this album especially unique is that it also depicts the feelings of the Irish in America for their homeland. Each of these songs are really good and bring the heart of Ireland to America.

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TRADITION: Find a St. Patrick's Day Parade

Use google to find a parade near you.

(suggestion from David Moss) One thing my kids love to do is walk in The St Patrick's Day parade. They go to a school in Huntington N.Y. and have the option of walking in the parade to represent their school. Our town puts on an annual parade for many years now that attracts over ten thousand people.The walk of about 2 1/2 miles is awesome. As you get closer and closer to the center of town with the crowd roaring it becomes an unbelievable experience. If people can get themselves into a popular parade they

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TRADITION: Teach the History of St. Patrick's Day

Do a quick web search so that you can teach your kids (and remind yourself!) of the history of St. Patrick's Day.

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TRADITION: Tell Stories

Have Irish relatives, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends tell stories about their own traditions or funny or interesting things that happened to them. The kids seem to especially love stories that involve trouble, love or injury.

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TRADITION: St. Patrick's Day Gift Exchange

The Irish should get pampered, showered and adored with gifts on a...more

(suggestion from Peggy Garland) Why not do a very low key family gift exchange. Keep it simple, but just a little something to set the day apart.

Hello Ladies: We prefer Brigid to Patrick’s-day/

Erin: Love it!

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GO: Vacation in Ireland

Official Website of Tourism Ireland for visitors to Ireland....more

Go!! Visit this beautiful country, bring the kids!

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SHOP: Check out your local Irish shop

Such as the Irish Castle Gift Shop in San Francisco (on Geary) or just...more

This is the shop to go to for many things. T-shirts. Celtic wall hangings. Rugby shirts. Haberdasher hats. Celtic jewelry. Throws. Clan tartans. Soda bread mix in a bag in addition to a small variety of eats from Ireland. I remember purchasing a Guinness poster for one of my good friends years ago and saw the same plastered on a sweatshirt.

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SHOP: Find some Irish jewelry for yourself, family member or friend


Celtic Irish Jewelry and Gifts featuring shamrocks, four leaf clovers,...more


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BOOK (CHILDREN): Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter

The bestselling, fan-favorite chapter-book series sends Jack and Annie...more

This is a great series for kids ages 5-8 and this one is about a long ago Ireland.

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BOOK (CHILDREN): A Pot o' Gold: A Treasury of Irish Stories, Poetry, Folklore, and (of Course) Blarney

Though it may only be a small emerald isle in the middle of the sea,...more

These stories are short and fun to read to the kids before bed.

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