The Irish have a reputation for being hard drinkers, but that stereotype sometimes overshadows the country’s significant accomplishments.

The best known traditional dish in Northern Ireland is the Ulster fry. Two other popular meals are fish and chips or 'Bangers and Mash' (Sausages and Creamed Potatoes)
Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick’s Day to share a “traditional” meal of corned beef and cabbage.

Although most scholars pin the development of the "man's skirt" on Scotland, Irish men also wore them regularly, especially in the early 20th century.

Weather also plays a significant role in traditional Irish dress. Ireland's ocean climate is generally mild, but sudden rainfall is common, as are strong breezes. Many natives dress in layers that they can shed or add depending on abrupt shifts from hot to cool, wet, and windy.

To that end, the famous Aran sweater poses a sensible solution. Made from water-repelling wool, these sweaters are very breathable but also insulate the wearer nicely when cooler weather sets in.


Some team sports are played on an all-Ireland basis, while in others Northern Ireland fields its own team.

  • Belfast Giants
  • Gaelic football
  • Hurling
  • Gaelic handball
  • Milk Cup, an international youth association football competition held in Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland national football team
  • Royal Portrush Golf Club
  • Ulster GAA
  • Ulster Rugby
  • Rowing


Traditional music in Ireland, whether it's contemporary or much older, blends elements and instrumentation from other cultures into a distinctly Irish feel and sound. It often embraces English music-hall ditties, and draws in ballroom and polka compositions and sounds, too. Ebullient fiddles contrast with mournful bagpipes. Piano, mandolin, guitars and bouzoukis (a type of lute) add traditional Irish flavor to songs old and new.


here are several styles of Irish dance, including set dancing, step dancing, and ceili (or social) dances. Ceili dances may include anywhere from two to 16 dancers, often at high-speed, and in a social setting, much like American square dancing.

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