Trending 6th March 2023 by Megan Roantree
St. Patrick’s Day Is About Celebrating All Things Irish, And What Could Be More Irish Than Brennans Arán Jumpers?
STELLAR PROMOTION: Aran Island native Megan Roantree comes together with Brennans Bread to celebrate the cultural significance of Aran Jumpers this St. Patrick’s Day
Oftentimes, you only truly realise the significance of something that was so part of your upbringing as you get older. Perhaps we take things for granted. Whether it’s the natural beauty of where we grew up, the importance of family and getting together with food on the table, or emblems of Ireland that were so part of our lives, we didn’t realise their impact.
Growing up on the Aran Islands, the Aran jumper is synonymous with Irish culture. We’ve seen it evolve from a necessary staple on the islands, for warmth and practicality, to a globally popular, fashionable garment worn by everyone from Chris Evans to Taylor Swift. Much like Brennans Bread, good-quality, Irish products stand the test of time and remain iconic.
As a child, the things that make your life special are something you only realise when you’re older. I never really thought about the history or cultural significance of the Aran jumper, or the island, and how special it was to the people from all over the world that were getting a plane, buses and ferries all to step off the pier on Inis Mór to see the islands and purchase their own sweaters. It probably first clicked during my summer job as a teenager.
Having worked in an Aran jumper shop on the Island for most of my teen years, I began to understand how significant the trip to the Island was for many people, both from Ireland and further afield. Families would come in to spend the day cycling the winding, stone-wall framed roads, climbing up to the many forts and chapels, and enjoying a picnic on the beach while the kids splashed in the sea. Those who travelled from places like Italy, Boston or Japan would spend hours at the Aran sweater shops choosing patterns and colours from their families at home. When I still lived there, seeing people step off the gangway with excitement and optimism made me feel blessed to be from a place so many people want to experience for themselves. Now that I no longer live at home, it’s not long before I feel a strong, almost overpowering urge to return.
While the beauty, sea air and stonewalls are a large part of me wanting to come back, it’s an inherently Irish thing to return to our mammy’s at the weekend to be spoilt with home cooked meals from a roast dinner to a big fry-up with buttery Brennans Bread.
It’s something else we probably take for granted, or only learn to appreciate as we get older. Returning to our family home, catching up over tea and a big breakfast, or a homecooked dinner that only your own mother can make, and you can never quite replicate when you try. At least even in Dublin, there are pieces of home you can keep with you to make you feel connected, whether it’s a cosy Aran knit or hot buttered Brennans toast and a cup of tea.
It’s hard not to feel exceptionally lucky to be from Aran, and Ireland in general, knowing that people travel from all over the world, from America and Asia, and everywhere in between to experience everything Ireland has to offer. From our beautiful natural landscape, our
unbeatable high-quality food, like Brennans Bread, and our cultural cornerstones like the Aran jumper.
Brennans Bread is changing its iconic yellow and red packaging to yellow and green for St. Patrick’s Day. Find them in stores nationwide.
STELLAR has partnered with Brennans Bread to celebrate Irish culture this St. Patrick’s Day. To be in with a chance to win your own Brennans Arán Jumper, get entering below on Instagram and Facebook! Competitions close Friday 10th March.
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