Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

Well not really, but it's St. Patrick's Day so go with me on this. When I think of Ireland, besides the country's beautiful landscapes it's known for, the Claddagh ring always come to mind.

"The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). The expression which was associated with these symbols in the giving of the ring was: "With my hands I give you my heart, and crown it with my love."

The Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring given in friendship or worn as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old walls of the city of Galway. The ring was first produced in the 17th century during the reign of Queen Mary II, though elements of the design are much older.

The way that a Claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer's romantic availability, or lack thereof. Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the heart pointing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship. When worn on the right hand but with the heart pointing inward toward the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, or that "someone has captured their heart". A Claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger, pointing outward away from the body, generally indicates that the wearer is engaged. When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and pointing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married."~Wikipedia

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