One of the most popular Irish traditions is kissing the Blarney Stone. While most people have heard of this tradition, very few know how the tradition began or how one should go about kissing the stone.
The Blarney Stone is built into a wall at Blarney Castle in Ireland. Nobody can say for certain where the stone came from, but the most popular version of this legend involves the goddess Cliodhna. The story says the goddess was a party to a lawsuit and, for good luck, she insisted that her lawyer kiss the Blarney Stone on his way to the castle. Later that day, the lawyer is said to have given the most eloquent and convincing argument of his career.
After the stone was used to build Blarney Castle, tourists flocked to the castle in hopes of receiving “the gift of gab.” But kissing the Blarney Stone is not as simple as one might imagine. To receive the stone’s power, one must travel to the roof of Blarney Castle and lean backwards over the castle wall to kiss the Blarney Stone.
Many try, but others have also been unable to conquer their fear of height in order to receive the gift of the stone. Many years ago, there were no safeguards in place to keep one from falling off of the castle’s parapet, and people were dangled by friends and family to achieve the task. There is even a Sherlock Holmes story that involved a man who plunged to his death while attempting to kiss the Blarney Stone. Fortunately, rails are in place today to protect visitors; however, it is recommended that a friend hold onto the pucker-lipped, as the task can be a bit unnerving.