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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland

1. Only 9% of the Irish population are natural redheads.

When you think of the stereotypical Irish lad or laddy, you probably think of red and curly hair. Basically Merida from Brave. However, most of you will find it shocking that only 9% of the Irish population are natural redheads.

2. Dublin contains one pub for every 100 people.

Pubs are the Starbucks of Ireland. We’ve always known that the Irish love to drink, and with one pub for every 100 people, Ireland’s drinking habits can hold true.

3. Halloween originated in Ireland.

Usually when you think of Halloween’s beginnings, you think of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos festival. But alas, Halloween actually originated in Ireland. In the ancient Celtic religion, the Celts considered October 31st to be the last day of the year. On this night, the Celts held the festival of Samhain where they burned crops and animals as sacrifices to their gods. 

4. Guinness was created in Dublin, Ireland.

If Ireland’s beautiful landscapes do not charm you, then their beer probably will. Ireland is home of the world-famous Guinness. Guinness was created in 1759 by Arthur Guinness, who signed a 9,000 year lease for the brewery, which still stands in Dublin today. 

5. At the Olympics, boxing is Ireland’s most successful sport.

With a reputation for being hot-headed, it is no surprise that the Irish shine in boxing. With names like John Duddy, Paul McCloskey, Matthew Macklin, and Sam Storey, the Irish are able to box their way to the top.

6. Ireland is one of the largest exporters of hardware and software goods in the world. 

Big technology corporations have established their headquarters in Ireland, making it the largest exporter of hardware and software.  If you love your technology, go ahead and thank the Irish.

7. An old legend says that, while Christ will judge all nations on judgment day, St. Patrick will be the judge of the Irish.

Saint Patrick is not actually a trademark for drinking as the holiday might imply. Revered by Catholics, Saint Patrick was the man who converted all of Ireland to Christianity.  He was the one who popularized the shamrock by using it to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity. It is no surprise, then, that the Irish believe he will be their judge.  

8. An Irish man designed the Oscar statue that is handed out at the Academy Awards.

I think you’ll appreciate this one, film students. The statue handed out at the Oscars was designed by Cedric Gibbons. He was born in Dublin in 1823 and eventually emigrated to America. He was considered a top designer and even won a few Oscars himself.

9. In Ireland, there is a tradition where the birthday child is lifted upside down and his or her head is given gentle bumps on the floor.

Some may call it fun, some may call it torture. But hey, when in Ireland, do as the Irish do. 

10. 73% of Americans are unable to locate Ireland on a map.

If you are among this 73%, Ireland is an island that lies next to Britain, and it looks somewhat like a teddy bear. Learn it, love it, and hopefully someday you can visit! 

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