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Irish tattoos come in a great variety of styles, stemming from the rich and varied artistic traditions that are part of the Irish culture.
From Celtic tattoos to the classic Claddagh heart, to religious tattoos such as the Irish cross, these tattoos are a great way to celebrate your appreciation for Irish and Celtic heritage. Celtic art consists of beautiful and complex knotwork and stylized images taken from nature. This Celtic knotwork can also be found on Irish stonework that may date as far back as 400 BC. The Irish are very well aware of their Celtic heritage, but many Irish are also very religious. The word "shamrock" is derived from the Irish word seamrog, which means "little clover." It refers to a three-leafed white clover (which is really green but has white flowers), not the rare four-leaf clover often associated with good luck. Despite not being the "lucky" four-leaf clover, the shamrock and any clover represents good fortune in the Irish tradition. A four-leaf clover is extremely rare, that's why it became a symbol of luck: you must be extremely lucky to find one (you have 1 chance in 10,000). In tattoo designs, four-leaf clovers are often combined with other luck symbols, like a horseshoe.
As a tribute to her faithfulness and love, he designed what we now know as the Claddagh, a crowned heart held by two hands.
The third type of Irish tattoo is one that reflects the Irish folklore, which is related to both the Celtic and Christian traditions, yet distinct from both.
The Irish are very patriotic and tend to be rather sentimental about their love for their culture - which would explain the growing popularity of Irish tattoos. Today we often think of iconic symbols of Ireland being the claddagh, shamrocks, and the impish leprechaun.
Irish tattoos can be either whimsical and magical, or use the traditional, scrolling designs, knots, and crosses.

Many men opt to place an Irish tattoo on their arm – especially if it symbolizes the Notre Dame football team. The Irish have a soulful, spiritual and very colorful culture - and Irish tattoo art reflects the full spectrum of it. In fact, the Irish commonly place a clover in the bride’s bouquet as well as in the groom’s boutonniere to ensure a happy union! They can go almost anywhere – on an ankle, shoulder, lower back or even on the hand or foot.
Patrick drew a simple Latin cross through the symbol of the stone circle, a motive readily adopted by his new converts.
That Irish Claddagh tattoo on the pretty Colleen sitting next to you has its roots in a story from the early 16h century. The fisherman was rescued by pirates unfortunately and was sold into slavery in western Africa. A Claddagh tattoo may symbolize a romantic connection between two people or it may represent a strong bond of friendship that lasts through the years, that's why it's often used as a marriage tattoo. While Irish tattoos are common as body art in today's society, they embody the elements of an ancient and playful Celtic spirit.
Marauders of Celtic, Norman, Roman and Saxon ethnicity not only invaded Ireland, but traded goods. Fans of Notre Dame often choose a leprechaun with raised fists as a representation of their beloved Fighting Irish. Sometimes both types of art are combined in one tattoo with shamrocks woven into scrollwork or a leprechaun hiding amongst a stylized band of shamrocks. Shamrocks and Celtic designs can really go anywhere on the body – from tiny spots like the ankle or wrist, to the broad canvas of a back and shoulders. The Celts were an ancient people who once lived throughout Europe, settling in the British Isles around the time of the early Roman Empire.

Today's tattoo symbols draw on this ancient tradition and are a favorite motif for Irish tattoo designs.
Escaping a few years later, he returned to Ireland, expecting his betrothed to have married someone else. A golden harp with silver strings has been an Irish symbol from as early as the 13th century. Even people who have no true Irish heritage often opt for Celtic style tattoo because they are simple and beautiful designs.
The luck of the Irish can be depicted with the addition of a horseshoe, or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
He was a wise man and used familiar objects to illustrate Christian principles to the Irish people.
It is said he reached down, plucked a shamrock, and held it up to illustrate the Holy Trinity to the followers of pagan Celtic gods and goddesses.
This includes intricately threaded knots, the Celtic cross, and intertwined, one-dimensional animals. They were rather nasty customers with no qualms about doing in nosy people trying to heist their Lucky Charms. The ancient religion of the island was based on nature and plants, trees, and animals, all of which are regarded as mystical icons amongst which the little people and sprites frolicked.

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