Few stories of love have endured through time like that of the Claddagh story. The Claddagh is a story of eternal love, loyalty, and friendship that has captivated the hearts all who hear it. It is a romantic Irish tradition that has crossed all cultural boundaries.
The story goes that long ago a young man was captured by invaders and sold into slavery from the fishing village of Claddagh. Many years passed and he wondered if his true love would wait for him. While in captivity over the years, he stole tiny bits of gold from his captor to make his love a ring. The ring was simple but symbolic. He fashioned a heart for love, a crown for loyalty, and hands as a symbol of friendship. After many years, he finally returned home to the tiny fishing village of Claddagh near the Galway coast. Upon his return and to his joy he discovered his true love had waited for him. He gave her the ring as a symbol of their love, loyalty, and friendship forever known now as the Claddagh.
Where is Claddagh, Ireland?
Just a bit away, past the cobbled stone streets of Galway City, a short walk across the Wolfe Tone Bridge and along the Galway Bay lays the village of Claddagh. Today this ancient fisherman’s village is little more than a memory of its unique historical contribution to its country’s culture. Remarkably, the story of the Claddagh will likely be carried into posterity by the ring that bears its name for eternity.
The celebrated Claddagh ring, as we know it today, stands as a monument to love and friendship. It will forever be synonymous with Irish culture.
The design of the ring is unique, yet simple. The Claddagh ring has two hands embracing a single crowned heart. Its motto, not surprisingly, is “let love and friendship reign.” Traditionally the Claddagh ring can be worn in several different manners, all proclaiming a different status in the quest for love and their romantic life.
Do you have someone in your life to which you pledge your love, loyalty, and friendship forever?
How to Wear a Claddagh Ring:
- To wear a Claddagh ring on the right hand with the crown turned inwards indicates that the wearer is single.
- To wear a Claddagh ring on the right hand with the crown turned outward symbolizes that the wearer is being courted.
- To wear a Claddagh ring on the left hand with the crown turned inwards indicates a romantic engagement.
- To wear a Claddagh ring on the left hand with the crown turned outward on the left hand indicates marriage.
- Claddagh rings are traditionally passed down from mother to daughter in Ireland.