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Northern Ireland / Северная Ирландия

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is the smallest part of the UK. "Ulster" is sometimes used as equivalent to Northern Ireland because it contains six counties of the historic province of Ulster. Eire ['ɛərə] is a poetic name for the whole Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland).

Ireland is often called "the Emerald Isle". In this name its lush greenery is reflected. Thanks to the winds that blow from the Atlantic Ocean the soil and the air are warm and damp. That is why fresh green grass coveres the ground in Ireland and it makes the island look so beautiful.

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. It is a great industrial centre and a large port.

For seven centuries Ireland was a colony of Britain. Historically the hatred between colonised people of Ireland and their colonisers was underlined by the difference in their religions. Northern Ireland is known for its long-lasting political conflict between Catholics and Protestants.

Nationalists, who are mainly Catholic, want Nothern Ireland to be unified with the Republic of Ireland and Unionists, who are mainly Protestant – want it to remain part of the United Kingdom.

The Irish flag dates from the 1800s. The colours have a symbolic meaning. Green represents the Roman Catholics of Ireland, orange the Protestants of Ulster and white represents peace.

The shamrock and the red hand are the national symbols of Northern Ireland.

The shamrock is said to be connected to St. Patrick, Ireland's Patron Saint. Irish people wear this symbol on the National Day on March 17th. This celebration is called St. Patrick's Day.

The name of St. Patric is surrounded by a rich tradition of oral legends and myths most of which has been exaggerated over the centuries. It is so because inventing exciting tales as a way to remember history has always been a part of Irish culture. Some of these legends say that Patrick raised people from the dead.


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 Перейти к оглавлению книги Страноведческий справочник. Топики (темы) о Великобритании на английском языке