Fairy Tales of the World Ireland

GEOGRAPHY

LOCATION

Ireland is a small country found in northwestern Europe. However, it covers 5/6 of the British Isles. Its geography helped to develop its lifestyle. (For example, because Ireland is on the water, many people fish.) Dublin is the largest city and its capital. Rich, green farmland covers the majority of Ireland; this earned the country the nickname of the Emerald Isle.

CLIMATE

The climate here is usually a temperate maritime (warm summers, cold winters). During winters, snow is common. The lowest temperature is around 32 °F; the highest is circa 72 °F. These temperatures are an advantage for agriculture. It also contributes to the consistent amounts of greenery.

Winter in Dublin, Ireland

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Ireland has an abundant amount of plateaus and mountains. The majority of these landforms can be found in northeast and southwest of the island. Most of Ireland's greenery comes from its mountains. Many people take boat tours via the lakes around Ireland as well. The largest, most famous one is the Lough Neagh.

Lough Neah Lake, Ireland

POPULATION

The population of Ireland is circa 4, 741, 124 people, thus meaning there are about 178 people per square mile. Almost 65% of the Irish population live in urban areas. The other 35% live rurally. However, with over 26, 000 square miles of land, Ireland could support 20 million people. It is currently considered underpopulated.

CULTURE

CUSTOMS/TRADITIONS

Ireland is a very diverse place. Its citizens are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Writing is a big part of the Irish culture, as many people have skill in writing and telling stories. Famous writers, such as Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats, have emerged from Ireland. Music is also very important to the Irish. Intstruments used include harps, accordions, and violins.

Traditional Irish instruments
Irish Dancers

RELIGION

Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in Ireland. About 4/5 of the population practices this form of Christianity. Other religions, such as Judaism and Islam, are not common. In fact, there are more non-religious people than Jewish and Muslim combined!

LANGUAGE

The people of Ireland speak both Gaelic (Irish) and English. In addition, the Irish alphabet uses symbols that are very similar to ours.

Irish Alphabet

FOODS

Characterized by a friendly and casual atmosphere, the most common Irish restaurant is the pub. This relaxing bar is the best place to go for alcoholic drinks and traditional Irish foods. The most common thing served in these pubs are meats. Many meals consist of beef, lamb, or pork. Starches, such as potatos and breads, are a big part of Irish meals, as well as various soups.

Irish meal

The black theif and knight of the glen

ANDREW LANG'S FAIRY BOOKS

SYNOpsis

A popular villian in the south of Ireland, known as the Black Theif, wanted to steal the princes of Ireland. His ultimate goal was to get their riches. The Queen knew of this, so she sent her three children onto an island in a lake to hide. The Black Theif, however, was informed of the princes' hiding spot from a magical hen wife. He had traded several things with her. But, the Knight of Glen, a friend of the royal family, met the Black Theif at the island and defeated the villian. The children had been saved.

TYPICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Fairy tales tend to follow the pattern of a special beginning, a good character, and an evil character. Events usually happen in 3s or 7s, and magic is common. The Black Theif and Knight of Glen contains all of these elements. The first line of the story, "There once was a queen of the south of Ireland," is an example of a special beginning (Lang.) There are two good characters in this story; the Knight of Glen and the Queen. The Knight of Glen was the hero; "...he traveled to the old island and fought the Black Knight with all his might." (Lang.) The evil character was the Black Theif, as his goal was to steal the three princes and their riches. In order to protect her children, "The queen hid her three princes on an island near the castle." (Lang.) Therefore, there is royalty involved in this fairy tale. Later, the hen wife had used magic to inform the Black Theif of the princes' hiding spot. Things happened in 7s in this story, because she made the theif pay "seven herds of sheep and seven barrels of wheat for seven years." (Lang.) The princes had to be careful that they were not found by the Black Theif; otherwise, they would have been kidnapped! This demonstrates a serious conflict in the story. However, once the Knight of Glen fought the Black Theif, he was defeated; this was the solution.

Connection to ireland

Because Ireland has many ancient castles, the story fits in well with the culture. Also, royalty has been used in many stories that originate from Ireland. Many famous Irish writers used the "royal theme" in their storytelling.

Sources:

"Ireland." Food in Every Country. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2017. ~ "Ireland." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1 Mar. 2017. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/Ireland/106328. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017. ~ Packer, John H. “Irish Food and Farming.” Ask about Ireland, 4 Aug. 2003, www.askaboutireland.ie/learning-zone/primary-students/3rd-+-4th-class/geography/food-and-farming/irish-food-and-farming/. Accessed 12 Apr. 2017. ~ INC. , World Book. The World Book Encyclopedia of People and Places. I-L ed., vol. 3, Chicago, IL, World Book, 2004. ~ https://goo.gl/images/GgHEhk ~ https://goo.gl/images/EfFQJb

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