The heart of an Irishman is nothing but his imagination. George Bernard Shaw
March is coming, and that means St. Patrick’s Day, but there’s much, much more to Irish culture than shamrocks (which, by the by, are NOT four-leaf clovers) and driving snakes out of the country (this never actually happened either). St Patrick wasn’t even Irish! He was born in Wales. Or Somerset. Or Scotland. But not in Ireland!
Ireland has a surface area of 32,000 square miles and a population of 6.4million meaning it is the same size as South Carolina and has the same number of inhabitants as Indiana. That’s right, it’s not big, but for such a small island it packs a hefty cultural punch:
Some of the world’s greatest plays, novels and poems.
Four Nobel Prize winners (Yeats, Shaw, Beckett and Heaney) … will their names be joined by John Banville, Emma Donoghue, Colum McCann or Anne Enright?
Five Booker Prize winners.
A fairly well-known rock band that you might have heard of, as well as the likes of Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor, Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher, I Draw Slow, Snow Patrol and Damien Rice. We sincerely hope this makes up for inflicting Boyzone and Westlife on the world.
A host of Oscar winners.
The best pint in the world.
My Left Foot. Calvary. In Bruges. What Richard Did. The Stag. Once. It’s fair to say Irish film has moved well beyond The Quiet Man.
A Ballymena man is currently Hollywood’s leading action hero! (And if you don’t believe that, he will look for you, he will find you, and he will kill you)
From Dorian Grey to Game of Thrones, Ulysses to Father Ted, the reach of Ireland’s culture spreads far beyond its beautiful coastline.
When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious. Edna O’Brien
To celebrate the wealth and breadth and general awesomeness of Irish cultural life, 746 Books and The Fluff is Raging are co-hosting a month-long cultural celebration of all things Irish. Ireland Month (Or The Begorrathon as we are affectionately calling it!) will feature book and film reviews, poems, songs, giveaways and much, much more. We’d love for you to join us!
The rules for the challenge are quite simple. Grab our badge and put it in your sidebar and get planning your Ireland themed reading or viewing. Like our Facebook page here Between March 1st and March 31st, you can post as much as you like about Irish culture. The theme is Ireland and Irish culture, so feel free to write about whatever you like.
Read a book by Anne Enright, the inaugural Irish Fiction Laureate. Post your favourite soda bread recipe. Maybe you want to make a list of your Top Ten Irish people. Read some poems by WB Yeats and celebrate 150 years since his birth (#Yeats150). Dress up as Mrs Doyle from Fr Ted and take a selfie, we don’t really mind! Here’s all we ask:
- put a link to your post on the Facebook page, and we’ll be sure to share it.
- Or link here on either of our blogs: FOR POSTS ABOUT POETS, PLAYWRIGHTS and NOVELISTS, link back to Cathy at 746 Books
- FOR POSTS ABOUT FILMS, TV, MUSIC, or ANYTHING ELSE, link back to Niall at The Fluff is Raging
- Watch our Begorrathon trailer to give you some ideas for what to read/ watch/ drink! If you need some more ideas, there is a list of 50 of the best Irish novels at 746 Books, one of which is bound to tickle your fancy.
- You can also tweet your post using the hashtags #irelandmonth2015 AND/OR #begorrathon2015
We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Many people die of thirst but the Irish are born with one. Spike Milligan