The Blarney Stone is a famous landmark in Ireland that has been visited by millions of people for centuries. It is a tradition in Ireland to hang over a ledge upside down and kiss the stone for good luck. In the early days of this tradition, the people kissing the stone had to be held by their ankles to stop them from falling from a great height.
Now there are recently installed handrails to prevent any danger. The stone is located in Blarney Castle, set into the wall which is near the castle battlements. It is said that once someone leans backwards and kisses the stone they are imbued with the “gift of eloquence”.
There are a number of possible origins of the stone, some that are mythical or biblical in their setting. Whatever the true origins of the stone it has now become a well-known part of Irish culture throughout the world. It is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in all of the country. People come from all over the world come to kiss it as well as explore both the castle and the surrounding gardens.
There is an element of bravery involved in kissing the Blarney Stone. It has been known to set off a fear of heights in the people that perform the ritual. There are photographs from the late nineteenth century that show just how dangerous the act can be.
There was even a Sherlock Holmes story based on the ritual. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Blarney Stone has the detective investigate the death of someone who falls while kissing the stone. It soon becomes clear to Holmes that this was an act of foul play. This is just one example of how the stone has entered popular culture today.