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With the gradual extension of English feudalism over the island, the Irish county structure came into existence and was completed in 1610.These structures are still of vital importance in the daily life of Irish communities.The festival is in remembrance to Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.Pious legend credits Patrick with the banishing of the snakes from the island, and the legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a 3-leaved clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God'.As archaeological evidence from sites such as the Céide Fields in County Mayo and Lough Gur in County Limerick demonstrates, farming in Ireland is an activity that goes back to the very beginnings of human settlement.In historic times, texts such as the Táin Bó Cúailinge show a society in which cattle represented a primary source of wealth and status.Apart from the religious significance of the parish, most rural postal addresses consist of house and townland names.
For most of its recorded history, Ireland's culture has been primarily Gaelic (see Gaelic Ireland).
It has also been influenced by Anglo-Norman, English and Scottish culture.
The Anglo-Normans invaded Ireland in the 12th century, while the 16th/17th century conquest and colonization of Ireland saw the emergence of the Anglo-Irish and Scots-Irish (or Ulster Scots).
One consequence of this is the widely recognised cultural phenomenon of "land hunger" amongst the new class of Irish farmer.
In general, this means that farming families will do almost anything to retain land ownership within the family unit, with the greatest ambition possible being the acquisition of additional land.
The Brigid's cross made from rushes represents a pre-Christian solar wheel.