What Traits Do the Irish Have, and Why Do Others Want to Be Like Them?

According to The Irish Independent, the Irish people exhibit many positive traits, including a deep sense of shared familial and communal values, penetrating wit and humor and an ability for unflinching self-evaluation and critical analysis of Ireland's place in the world. One feature of Irish culture that others wish to imitate is the persistent self-identification of being Irish and the celebration of Irish heritage among the worldwide Irish diaspora.

While the aforementioned Irish traits make up part of a self-described modern Irish identity, most outsiders still associate Irish culture with its historical and folklore traditions. These include the celebration of Saint Patrick's Day every year on March 17, the mythical creatures known as leprechauns and the perception of Irish people as being lucky, from which derives the popular phrase "The Luck of the Irish." Having red hair, and especially red hair and blue eyes, a genealogical rarity, is also commonly thought of as a uniquely Irish trait, though it does occur in among other nationalities, as well.

These unique aspects of Irish culture have been so thoroughly embraced by outsiders that it has inspired the term "more Irish than the Irish themselves." This can refer to those who go to Ireland expecting a much more homogeneous and stereotypical cultural experience than is currently the case in modern Ireland.