A traditional Irish birthday blessing was once given freely. Life was hard in Ireland and the Irish took life seriously; sometimes a bit too seriously, as noted in the various manners in which death or bad luck was incorporated into many of their blessings and proverbs. To brighten a birthday girl or boy's day, there were many Irish birthday blessings written.
Messages buried deep inside many a traditional Irish blessing depict the very things the Irish spent their days trying to avoid: death, poverty and dreams dashed by the difficult lives they led. To ward off this type of bad luck, blessings were recited at a variety of occasions. These blessings were not given in jest; the Irish took their blessings seriously and followed the message in each blessing as closely as possible. It would not have been uncommon for a complete strangers to visit your home with Irish blessing gifts, because the Irish believed that the good deeds you perform in this life will be given back to you ten-thousand fold in the afterlife.
Popular Irish Birthday Blessings
You can almost hear a kindly uncle reciting this Irish blessing, the lilt of his words dancing in your head as he ends the blessing with a big firm bear hug.
May You Live a Long Life
May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth
May the dreams you hold dearest
Be those which come true
May the kindness you spread,
Keep returning to you.
Irish Blessing Gifts
Birthday blessings that encompassed the entire year or all the days of your life are some of the most precious Irish blessings. The following blessing is one that a mother may have recited to her darlin' lass as she was roused from sleep by an errant sunbeam on the morn of her birthday.
When the first light of sun
When the long day is done
In your smiles and your tears
Through each day of your years
The following Irish blessing has more promise than just a birthday gift. It is a prayer that was given some thought; perhaps a father wrote it on the day of his first child's birth.
May Flowers Always Line Your Path
May flowers always line your path
And sunshine light your day
May songbirds serenade you
Every step along the way
May a rainbow run beside you
In a sky that's always blue
And may happiness fill your heart
Each day your whole life through
May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks
May your heart be as light as a song
May each day bring you bright, happy hours
That stay with you all the year long
Irish Sayings that are Unique to Birthdays
While there are more Irish sayings than there are shamrocks in the glen, some of the sayings and quotes are perfect sentiments for a birthday. Though the original authors have long since been forgotten, the following Irish quotes would lighten the hearts of any woman, young or old.
Irish curses are just as powerful as Irish blessings in traditional Irish culture. Not to be spoken lightly, these curses invoke the power of the heavens against those who would harm people.
Irish blessings and proverbs are the fruit of a culture rich in spirituality, humor and the gift of gab.
Steeped in tradition, Irish baby blessings are a proclamation of joy and a hope for a happy and fruitful life.