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The Claddagh Tattoo: Origins and Options

The Claddagh Tattoo:  Origins and Options

Are you considering getting a Claddagh tattoo? Do you need more information about what the Claddagh tattoo symbolizes and where to find designs? If so, you have come to the right place. Here we will provide a little history behind the Claddagh tattoo and give you some ideas for finding Claddagh artwork to get the process started.

What is a Claddagh Tattoo?

It’s no secret that tattoos and other forms of body art have become “all the rage” in recent years, and one of the more popular designs being seen is that of the Claddagh ring. But before we explain in more detail how you can find one of these designs for your next tattoo project, let’s first take a minute and look at the history behind the Claddagh tattoo.

Claddagh tattoos have become very trendy of late, so trendy, in fact, that a simple search on any search engine will undoubtedly reveal hundreds of results. But what exactly does the Claddagh design mean?

Claddagh tattoos have their roots in the symbolic Claddagh ring—a traditional Irish symbol given out as a token of love and commitment. The unique design and meaning behind the Claddagh ring derives from the customs of the old fishing village of Claddagh—a town in Ireland just outside the city of Galway. The earliest examples of the Claddagh ring can be traced all the way back to the 17th Century.

The Claddagh ring has a very distinctive design, with three elements thought to represent love, friendship and loyalty. While there are variations in the style, color and size of these rings, a true Claddagh design can easily be spotted. Each of these rings depicts two hands coming together holding a heart and topped with a crown. The heart is thought to symbolize love; the hands, friendship; and the crown, loyalty.

Claddagh rings are still worn to this day, most commonly by those of Irish heritage as either wedding rings or engagement rings. The very simplistic, yet beautiful symbolism behind the Claddagh ring has also made it a very popular tattoo design.

Where to Find Claddagh Tattoo Designs?

Due to the recent popularity of the Claddagh tattoo, you can usually find some variation of the design right at your local tattoo parlor, but if you’re looking for something truly unique, perhaps your best bet is to search online.

Currently there are literally hundreds of online sites and tattoo galleries on the Internet, each featuring thousands upon thousands of unique Claddagh tattoo designs. Sites such as CladdaghTatoo.com and CelticDesigns.com are just a couple examples of these types of sites. Here you can browse through many unique samples and even take advantage of their tattoo design tools to play around with each design to discover what each may look like in various colors, shapes and on different body parts.

If you’re going to get a tattoo, doesn’t it make sense to get one that has a long history of beauty and meaningful symbolism? With a Claddagh tattoo you’ll be telling the world just what you think of your significant other through a design which dates back hundreds of years.

Photo courtesy of Shylah.

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