It’s often not in our minds how things might have gotten the way they are, or, how things might have come to be. I think, though, along those lines when it comes to red doors. Red is not what you call a passive color…it makes a real statement. I think of the centuries old cottage on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, by Galway Bay…with its bright red door!
Here is a reproduction of an Irish cottage in East Durham, New York at the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Centre.
How about this structure on Inis Mór…a wow of a color, and…red door.
Just seems to me there must be more of a significance than just color choice. So, I looked around and found a tidbit of info at http://www.houzz.com…”In Ireland, a red door is thought to ward off ghosts or evil spirits. Through history, red doors have held great meaning in some religions. The red door symbolized that the ground beyond the door was holy and sacred, a sanctuary from any evil, both spiritual and physical.”
Now that sounds more like it. And, of course, with Ireland’s blessing of having had the good St. Patrick nurture the Irish people with the Good News of the Gospel, it seemed to me there was more of a reason that had to do with Faith in God. I was reminded myself of the biblical Passover account of the Lord “striking down every first-born of the land, both man and beast (executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt) but passing over the homes where the blood of the lamb was on the ‘two doorposts and the lintel’…” (Exodus 12)
I found a website called answers.com, and it spoke of Catholicism and a red door representing the blood of Christ, and that the area behind the door is “holy and sacred.”
Now that makes sense, too…but I could not find any solid Catholic source as a reference to red doors…but this little bit of info seems to be reasonable.
This is a Catholic Church in Massachusetts. The difference in color between the two pictures is just the way the camera picked it up…
This is a picture from a door on another Catholic Church in Connecticut…
This is a picture of the Rectory of a Catholic Church in Olmsteadville, New York…
So, it seems that the Leprechauns have chosed the right color for their doors when danger or suspicious activity seems to be happening. Safety and refuge exists behind those red doors!
Another fun fact has to do with an article at http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com…”Who was behind the doors of Dublin?” The article is written by Bridget Haggerty. Bridget is a great source for different information about Irish culture and traditions and this website has different pieces written by her…a fun source!
My Family referred to Bridget’s book, The Traditional Irish Wedding when our oldest daughter, Kate, was planning her wedding.
Back to the the doors of Dublin…Maybe some of you have seen the wonderful poster with pictures of lots of wonderfully colored Irish doors in Dublin, and, yes, red is certainly well represented! Bridget tells us, in regard to this particular poster, that “It was 1970 around St. Patrick’s Day that a colourful collage of Dublin doors appeared in the window of the Irish Tourism offices on Fifth Avenue in New York City. People on their way to watch the parade were stopped in their tracks by what they saw. Drawn by the uniqueness of the image, many of them went inside to find our where they could get a copy. There were so many requests that Joe Malone, North American Manager of Bord Fáilte at the time, commissioned the poster that has since become an icon of Ireland.” If you give this article a read you will see this famous poster.
Lastly, there is another poster with many red doors of Ireland…just a great poster! Here are a few partial pictures to give you an idea of the fun doors that are on the poster…of course, lotsa red!
God bless you and thank you for visitin’ Finney and me!