Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Irish Claddagh Tattoo Symbolism



The Hand Signifies Friendship, the Crown Loyalty, And the Heart Love.

The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). A "Fenian" Claddagh ring, without a crown, was later designed in Dublin. Claddagh rings, with or without the crown (most commonly with a crown), have come to denote pride in Irish heritage, while continuing to be symbols of love or marriage.

The Irish Claddagh consists of two hands holding between them, or presenting, a heart.  Over the heart is a design representing a crown or fleur de lis.  The phrase or posy, that usually accompanies the ring is: "Let love and friendship reign."

The original expression which accompanied the passage of the "Claddagh" was:  "With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love."

There is an old tradition in Ireland that goes with wearing a Claddagh ring.   If you wear your Claddagh ring with the heart facing outwards it means that your heart is available.  If you were the Claddagh Ring with the heart facing inwards it means that your heart has already been taken by someone.

Also it is said that a  Dublin version of Claddagh Rings appeared about 100 years ago with two Hearts and two hands and No Crown. This is the Fenian Claddagh 
It is growing in popularity because of its unique design, its peculiar history, its sentimental appeal and its close association with the ancient Claddagh of Galway.

The Claddagh symbol is commonly used as friendship symbol, but are most commonly used to represent engagement/weddings. 
In Ireland, America and other places, the Claddagh is handed down mother-to-daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter. 


Placement:

Engagement ... by placing the tattoo on the left side your body wtih the heart pointing outwards indicates you are spoken for

Wedding (married)...represented by placing the tattoo on the left side of your body wtih the heart pointing inwards towards your heart



Friendship... by placing  the tattoo anywhere on your right hand side.





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