Northern Ireland is known for its lush green countryside as well as stout mountains which go down to a shoreline that is craggy and steep. Are you planning a trip to visit this country in the near future? If yes, you should keep reading to know about the heritage and culture in Northern Ireland.
Located in the British Isles on the second largest island, this is the smallest country in United Kingdom. It shares the island with the independent Republic of Ireland and takes up one-sixth of the area. Northern Ireland is made up of 6 of the 29 counties of Ireland.
Heritage and culture in Northern Ireland
English is the language that people speak throughout the country, as the native Gaelic language is disappearing. The Celts supposedly introduced Gaelic language in the last several centuries B.C.E. Like the Scottish Gaelic, this language shares common structures with Breton and Welsh. Most of the Gaelic speakers perished in the 1840’s during the Great Famine and English replaced the language to give social mobility. Some schools require Irish but it’s taught with more stress on grammar instead of conversation.
Now, lets’ look at how food fits into the heritage and culture in Northern Ireland. The people in this country maintain simple diets. Breakfast is often oatmeal or porridge, mid-morning snacks include a cup of coffee or tea with biscuits or cookies and the main midday meal is generally meat-based with beef, lamb, pork or chicken. Fish and chips are often quick meals and many will buy a rich soup and lots of bread at lunchtime. Potatoes, onions, carrots, peas and cabbage are staple items which are eaten frequently. The Irish stew is also popular and it has potatoes, mutton and onions as the main elements.
The bakeries carry bread in many varieties, with white soda bread and brown bread served often with most meals. In Irish, white sliced bread is known as pan. The soda bread in Belfast is made with buttermilk and flour and it has an excellent reputation. Families often eat simple leftover meals or toast and eggs in the evening.
The food customs of the Northern Irish are not different from the Republic of Ireland people. Christmas supper is a meal with meat such as ham and chicken accompanied by plum pudding. Catholics avoid meat on Friday night so their evening meal generally consists of salmon or trout fish.
. In Northern Ireland, a drink usually means beer and this either stout or lager. Most people drink Guinness which is a black beer that is made in Dublin. Whiskey is served often in pubs as well.
When it comes to events or festivities, Northern Ireland is known for celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. It is celebrated widely as a secular holiday with spirited parades. Other festivities include New Year’s Day that is celebrated on January 1 .
Arts also feature highly in Northern Ireland’s culture. There are graphic arts in the form of Celtic designs which are visible in everyday and artistic images. Celtic influences can be seen in the lettering on store signs, tombstones, jewelry and letterheads.
In the performance arts, the Irish enjoys music in the form of fiddles, flutes, bagpipes, harps and drums. Folk music is played in parades and pubs. In the last decade, the traditional music of the Irish has grown to be very popular outside of the country.
As for literature, most of the Irish work is written by the authors from within and outside of Dublin. Northern Ireland has produced Seamus Heaney, a Nobel Prize winning poet who publishes many poem collections. In addition, it is the home of C. Day Lewis who is known for writing novels as well as teaching and translating classical literature.
There are additional resources available if you need more information on the heritage and culture in Northern Ireland.