It's not difficult to understand why Ireland is on so many people's travel wish lists. Irish people are friendly, the countryside is beautiful, and the cities and villages are lovely. In fact, Ireland is home to some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes globally and welcoming people. There are numerous reasons why Ireland is an excellent vacation location, including the presence of iconic landmarks such as the Cliffs of Moher and many more. However, before visiting the country, visitors should first know these ten facts that they probably do not know about Ireland.

10 A Saint Who Wasn't Even From Ireland!

St. Patrick was not born in Ireland, contrary to popular belief, even though he is the country's patron saint. At the age of 16, he was abducted by Irish raiders from his home country of Great Britain. He worked as a sheepherder in Ireland for more than five years as a bonded enslaved person. Following that, he returned to Ireland as a missionary, making significant contributions to the spread of Christianity in the country. Many thought that he was Irish, primarily that he was raised and died in the country.

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9 Three Well-Known Breweries May Be Found In Ireland

With good cause, the island nation is famed for its high-quality brews and liquors. Brewing has been a part of the country's culture for more than thousands of years. The bulk of Ireland's beer is still top-fermented and black, using roast malt instead of hops to provide flavor. A thriving independent craft beer scene exists in Ireland, despite Guinness and Beamish being household brands in the business. Guinness, Smithwicks, and Harp Lager all have their roots here. The well-known Irish beer is yet another fascinating aspect of the country.

8 Thank You, Ireland, For Halloween!

Another interesting tidbit about Ireland is that kids' favorite holiday, Halloween originated in this country. Thousands of years ago, the Celtic feast of Samhain laid the groundwork for today's joyous occasion. In late October, visitors to Ireland have the opportunity to participate in the country's most extraordinary all-hallows eve celebration. In fact, every year, during the last week of October, the Londonderry Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival hosts a terrifying four-day event with people of all ages encouraged to dress as their favorite monsters and ghosts for the celebration.

7 A Progressive Country That Has Set High LGBTQA+ Standards

Ireland was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage through a public referendum, making it the first to do so. In May 2015, an overwhelming majority of the population voted in favor of the new legislation, a referendum that garnered widespread attention worldwide. It is remarkable to witness such positive and forward-thinking actions in a country that only legalized the sale of condoms in the 1970s and divorce in the 1990s.

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6 Ireland Has A Good View Of The Northern Lights

If tourists travel to Ireland at the correct time of year, mainly by the end of October, they may be able to witness the Northern Lights in the sky. They can be seen from dark to morning for several hours on a clear night on a clear night. Choosing the Northern coast, where there are no artificial lights that can obscure the view, is the most incredible option for getting the best view. It is impressive to see how tourists flock to view the lights during this time of year.

5 In Ireland, English Isn't The Primary Language

English is, without a doubt, extensively spoken throughout Ireland, with most people identifying it as their native language. On the other hand, Irish is the country's official first language. On all official government documents and public transportation, signs, and other public structures, it can be seen in large letters. Although Irish is taught as a topic in schools across Ireland, many people still find it challenging to hold a simple conversation in the Gaeilge language.

4 The Shamrock Isn't Ireland's National Emblem

While many people believe that the shamrock is Ireland's national symbol, the Gaelic harp is actually the valid symbol of the country. To be exact, Ireland has a musical instrument as its national symbol, making it the first country in the world to do so. Visitors can see the oldest harp in Ireland in the Book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin and learn that this harp has a fascinating history, having spent a period in the Vatican during the reign of Henry VIII.

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3 It Is A Criminal Offense To Be Inebriated In Public

In Ireland, it is an offense to be so inebriated in a public place that they believe that people could be a danger to themselves or others around them, contrary to what many tourists believe about the Irish and our drinking habits. However, St. Patrick's Day is the year where this legislation is significantly relaxed since there are not enough police personnel to keep track of a million or more tourists that descend on the country.

2 The Largest Zinc Mine In Europe Is In Ireland

Additionally, Ireland is well-known for its zinc mines, located in the county of Meath. There are three of them in operation, with the Tara being the highest, with a drop of almost three thousand feet being the highest. As a result of the mine's size and depth, it is the largest mine in Europe that is still in operation. Two more counties have joined the ranks of those already in process: Tipperary and Drummond. Ireland is the most crucial supplier of zinc concentrate in the European Union, accounting for more than half of all exports of the metal. These massive mines have been in operation for more than three decades and are still going strong.

1 Ireland Hosts Its Very Own Olympic Games

Although Ireland joined in multiple international games, they also have their own Olympic games called Tailteann Games. They got their Olympic game name from the Irish goddess Tailtiu, whose daughter married the Spanish king and became the High King. After her death, Lugh of the Long Hand, a Gaelic god, commanded the games to celebrate Irish culture and strength in honor of her foster mother. Usually, these games were held in August at the beginning of the Harvest Festival of Lughnasa, culminating in a feast and athletic competitions.

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