How Aran Sweaters Have Become A St. Patrick's Day Essential - Enjoy St. Patrick's Day 2021 in an Irish Sweater
There is no doubt that the wearing of Aran on St. Patrick’s Day by people of Irish heritage all over the globe is now synonymous with the event.
First, second, third generation (and beyond!) of Irish people pull out their favorite Aran and wear it with pride for the celebrations but what is it about Aran knitwear that has made it so interlinked with the "day of the Irish"?
Most likely it's the strong bond of wearing something that is genuinely Irish that attracts people (not to mention that Aran knitwear is now held in the highest regard within international fashion houses!) in knowing that they're wearing a garment with real meaning.
The intricate patterns of Aran Fisherman sweaters and cardigans have deep symbolic meaning with each stitch having a direct link to some facet of Irish cultural life and perhaps it is this more than anything that connects the craftwork of Aran knitters to Ireland's day of national celebration.
Here's a brief run down on the meanings of some of the most popular Aran stitches and the element of Irish life that they symbolise:
- Cable Stitch - represents Luck
- Diamond Stitch - represents Wealth
- Tree Of Life Stitch - represents Family
- Ladder of life - represents Health
- Honeycomb Stitch - represents Work
- Trellis Stitch - represents Success
- Zag Zig Stitch - represents Love
- Moss Stitch - represents Nature
- Trinity/Blackberry Stich - represents God
The authentic connection that exists between the wearer and the craftperson in Ireland who produced the piece of Aran knitwear is something that perhaps holds a strong connection too - knowing that skilled Irish hands followed a time-honored tradition to create their Aran sweater or cardigan undoubtedly gives the wearer a sense of pride of place in Ireland and in their heritage.
And with it comes the comfort of knowing that while modernisation and progress continue that there is still a central place in our lives for the values and traditions of our ancestors.
Another link between Aran knits and St. Patrick's Day is the possibly due to the existence of specific Irish Clan Arans - these are custom, handknit Aran sweaters that have patterns and stitches that have been created in honor of particular Irish family names.
The symbolism of the stitches in these Clan Arans pay homage to the legacy of the clan name and having been adopted by hundreds of Irish clans down through the years, the wearing of your Clan Aran is a significant statement of pride in your own unique Irish family heritage.
The popularity of the Aran for St. Patrick's Day is also perhaps linked to the uniforms of Irish organisations throughout the world such as Irish pipe bands, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Irish community groups, etc.
The sight of people marching in their local St. Patrick's Day Parade bedecked in their favourite Aran knit, proudly holding a banner or playing their heart out as part of a marching band is something that is forever connected to March 17th and is something will continue to be a source of great pride for everyone here on the Aran Islands.