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    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

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IrelandThe name Ireland is the Anglicized version of the Irish name of the country and island, Éire. This word comes from an older Irish word, Ériu, which is the name of a historic Gaelic goddess.



The Irish and their culture seem to be everywhere today. Partially due to their large emigration numbers in past centuries, Irish culture has spread across the world and many people hold dearly to this culture and identity, even people with little to no Irish blood in them seem to cling to Irish identity. Of course, this begins with a pride on the island of Ireland itself, a pride that is rooted in their long history and culture, which took hundreds of years to develop.

The Irish people began their lifestyle and culture on the lands of Ireland. These fertile lands allowed for farming and raising animals as most people became tied to the lands in terms of lifestyle. This also made Ireland a very rural landscape as cities were non-existent, leading to a heavy reliance on an individual's town or village and family, friends, neighbors, and community became very important to the people.

Today many people associate the Irish with drinking, but what is perhaps more accurate is the Irish tendency to socialize as these public houses became the center of the social life. This small town atmosphere and culture thrives even today, both in the countryside as well as in the cities' neighborhood pubs.

While socialization became the focus of the culture, many other cultural aspects began to define the people. Catholicism is at the core of their culture and identity, Irish dress is very distinguishable and Irish dancing and music is now growing in popularity the world over. However, other cultural aspects were lost over time, primarily due to outside influences as Irish (also known as Gaelic) was almost entirely replaced with the English language and remains so today.

Today Ireland continues to change, particularly as cities grow and technology alters the lifestyle on a daily basis. However, the culture is still rooted in the towns and countryside as socialization and family are king and all are welcome to the Emerald Isle.

The flag colors of Ireland have no official meaning. However, many Irish will say the green is for the Gaelic tradition, orange is for the supporters of William of Orange, and the white is the peace between the two.

Name: Ireland
Independence: December 6, 1921
Capital: Dublin
Currency: Euro
Population: 4,775,982 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Irish
Language: English & Irish (Gaelic)
Religion: Roman Catholic

Information for Ireland was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks