The Celtic Harp
A Symbol of Creativity, Beauty and Elegance
It can be seen on manuscripts and Christian stone crosses, and today you can find the Harp symbol on many official documents across Ireland. It’s on the Irish passport, Irish driver’s license, and across many political documents used by businesses. You can even find it on people’s bodies as tattoos and Irish Jewelry. Most notably, it has become recognized worldwide by Guinness as its logo since 1876.
History of the Irish Harp
The Harp was considered a very important instrument since ancient times, it is linked to Celtic mythology, and as an instrument, it symbolizes unity and bringing people together to experience joy. It is known as the instrument of angels.
“During medieval times, Ireland was famous throughout Europe for harp music and playing. Harpists travelled around Ireland writing music for patrons and also for important events. This is why the instrument has been used as the emblem of Ireland since medieval times. Today, the Irish harp emblem is based on the Trinity College Harp. This Harp is one of Ireland’s national treasures. It is also known as the Brian Boru Harp or O’Neill Harp. It is thought to date to the 15th Century.” (OrigSource)
The greatness of the Harp as an Irish symbol is due to King Brian Boru
Brian Boru was one of the last High Kings of Ireland, dating to 1014 AD. He was known to be a very talented harpist and is rumoured to have played the night before the battle of Clontarf. In the time of Brian Boru, the Irish harpist held great importance in playing their music in great banquet halls and events.
Celtic Harp Jewelry
At Moriarty’s, we love the ancient history of the Harp and the meaning of this beautiful ancient Irish symbol. Beautiful and elegant, the harp symbol connects us to a long tradition of Irish creativity. In ancient times musicians would play the Harp during grand banquets and poetry performances and at religious ceremonies. It connects us to our ancient Celtic past and reminds us of our strong creative musical history and culture.