5 traditional Irish souvenir ideas

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Ireland is a land with breathtaking landscapes, amazing folklore, and traditions, and the best part is that it also has some fantastic souvenirs to bring home to your friends and family. Whatever the budget, you will still find something nice and meaningful that will make your loved ones happy. If you’re considering taking a journey to Ireland (after the pandemic, of course!) and aren’t sure where to start looking for traditional Irish presents, here are a few nice ideas:

Claddagh ring

Claddagh rings are one of the most famous Irish souvenirs, alongside Aran sweaters, Guinness merchandise, and whiskey. This traditional piece of jewelry has three distinctive elements: the clasped hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown is a symbol of loyalty. This ring can be worn by both men and women and is the perfect choice for someone with whom you have a close bond. It is also said that the way you wear it is very important:  when it is worn on the right hand and the tip of the heart is pointing at you, it indicates that you are in a relationship, but when it is pointing outwards, it means that you are single and looking for a partner. When the ring is worn on the left hand and the tip of the heart is pointing towards you, it indicates that you are married, and if the tip is pointed outwards, it shows that you are engaged.

Irish Sweater

If you are lucky enough to visit the Aran islands, don’t forget to buy an authentic local sweater. Originally, they were made of thick, untreated local wool that was not only durable and protective against winds and water, but also very heavy and itchy. These days, Irish sweaters are made of Merino wool, an ultra fine fiber that is more than just beautiful, it is also lightweight, soft, and water-repellent. If you know a person well enough, such a meaningful gift will surely bring them joy. The best part about Aran sweaters is that not only are they traditional, but also very easy to wear in everyday life. If because of the pandemic you don’t plan on visiting Ireland soon, but you would like to purchase an authentic Irish sweater, go to Tara Irish Clothing to find a wide range of Irish jumpers to fit all tastes and budgets.

Irish Blanket

If you have a little bit more space for gifts in your luggage, an Irish blanket is a perfect choice both for a big family and for a single friend. Since these blankets come in a variety of sizes, colors, and fabrics, they can be used for both practical and decorative purposes. They are usually made of thin wool and the natural hues of green, brown, and yellow add color to the room, making it seem more alive and interesting. This is an ideal gift for someone who is interested in Celtic folklore.

Milk chocolate

Irish milk chocolate is cheap, but very delicious, which makes it a perfect gift for someone who is traveling on a budget. Get your loved ones a few candy bars from well-known and much appreciated brands like Cadbury, Burlers, or Lily O’Briens if you want to bring back something small yet meaningful. Even though Irish chocolate is not as internationally famous as other big brands such as  Lindt, Ferrero, or Hersey, it has a distinct flavor attributed to the use of milk from local farms, that will win you, your friends, and your family over. However, if you can afford to spend a little extra money for a special person, consider ordering a bar of customized chocolate or even make it yourself in an Irish factory.

Tea

When it comes to tea, most of us think of England as the most famous travel destination. Few people realize, though, that the Irish are the second-largest tea consumers per capita.  Irish tea has an established tradition, and while it shares many similarities with English tea, the Irish one has a spicier, stronger taste. Breakfast tea, a mixture of many types of black teas usually served with milk, is considered to be the traditional one. Barry’s, Bewley’s, and Lyons are the most popular brands of tea and they are available in every store. Just like the chocolate, if you are low on cash, this will be the perfect gift for whomever you want to bring it to.