- The Harp
Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument as it’s a national symbol. You can visit some of the oldest harps in the world at Trinity College in Dublin.
Newgrange, which is classified as passage tomb or possibly an ancient temple, is 5,000 years old making it older than the ancient pyramid of Giza and Stonehenge
- Postal Codes
Ireland is one of the few countries in the world, and the only country in the EU, that does not have postal codes (with the exception of Dublin city). However, the country is in the process of designing and implementing a nation-wide postcode system for 2015.
- Wearing Green
Green wasn’t always associated with St. Patrick. In fact, historians say that St. Patrick’s color was light blue. According to this Time post, wearing green came about after during the 1798 Irish Rebellion when the clover became a symbol of Irish nationalism.
St. Patrick didn’t really chase all the snakes out of Ireland as the legend suggests. Scientists say Ireland has never had any snakes on it’s green shores. So, what did he chase out? Pagans.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in the United States, not in Ireland. In 1762 (technically, it was called the colonies at this point), Irish soldiers serving in the English army celebrated the day by marching through New York City streets. Today, the parade is an official city event.
That is the name of a small village in Connemara in Co. Galway. It is the longest place name in English with 22 letters. Try saying that 5 times fast…or really just once is hard enough.
- Eurovision Champs
Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest seven times, more than any other country.
Not to confuse you with too many holidays, but you can thank Ireland for Halloween. Over the centuries the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a harvest festival that celebrated the end of the summer, and All Saint’s Day merged to later become the Halloween as Americans know it.
Finland is a Nordic country in Northern Europe famous for its surreal natural beauty and unique culture. Finland is one of the world’s happiest countries, where the citizens enjoy a high standard of living and peaceful life. Many interesting facts about Finland are highlighted below.
1, There Are More Than 3 Million Saunas In Finland
The Finnish sauna is an integral part of the culture in Finland. There are over 3 million saunas for the country’s 5 million inhabitants. A sauna in Finland is a place to relax and socialize with family and friends. For Finns, a sauna is a necessity, and in the past, most Finnish women gave birth in a sauna.
2, Finland Is the Only Home of the Endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal
A highly threatened seal species, the Saimaa ringed seal is found in Lake Saimaa, Finland. Only about 380 individuals of the species live in the lake today. The seals began inhabiting the lake when the land rose and cut off the lake from the sea after the last ice age. For about 9,500 years, this species of seal evolved separately and is one of the few freshwater seal species living today.
3, Finland Celebrates a ‘Day for Failure’
Finland celebrates failure on the 13th of October each year. The first such day was held in 2010 by Finnish university students. It soon became very popular and attracted big names in Finnish society. Today, many famous politicians, artists, media personalities, and others support the Day for Failure and share their own stories of failure and how they overcame the problems. The day is celebrated to allow people to open up about their problems in life and gather encouragement from society and others who have suffered similar fates but still managed to persevere.
4, Finland Is Europe’s Prison-Break Capital
While Finland is praised for its progressive “open-prison” system, it also suffers from drawbacks of the system. In Finland, prisoners are allowed to circulate in the surrounding community during the daytime. They can study, work, or shop like other free individuals. Such a system is considered to be cost-effective and is also believed to lower reoffending rates. However, the system also makes it easy for prisoners to escape. Finland’s prisoners have an escape rate of 1,084 per 10,000 inmates, which is the highest in Europe.
5,Finland Has One of the World’s Most Powerful Passports
Individuals with a Finnish passport can access 175 countries around the world without a visa. It is the worlds third most powerful passport, after those of Germany and Singapore.