A rite of passage in any young person's life is their graduation. A time when the hard work pays off, when family and friends gather to witness their loved one don the cap and gown at long last.
In Ireland, there are two main graduations in a young student's life. The first occurs at around 18 years old, when Irish students finish secondary school.
In the Republic of Ireland, Irish secondary school graduates celebrate the “debs”, or formal ball after completing their Leaving Certificate. As part of this event, it is common for the boys to purchase a corsage for their date.
It is also common for the parents of the debutant to present a gift to mark this rite of passage. Often for boys, watches are given to wear with their suits. For girls, gifts usually include jewellery such as a necklace engraved with the dates of the big night.
Having received their scroll, the celebrations can begin. In Ireland, graduation days are a time spent with family and friends. Graduates often go out for meals in their university city after the ceremony, before meeting with their fellow course mates to toast to their futures.
Buying a gift for such an occasion can be challenging but a sentimental token is all that’s needed to make your loved one feel special on their big day.
In this article, we will explore some popular Irish gifts for graduates.
Perhaps the most common gift presented to graduates is some personalised jewellery to wear with their cap and gown. Often necklaces engraved with the graduation date are presented to women to mark the occasion. Watches are a traditional and timeless choice for both men and women. Other gifts include bracelets, earrings and cufflinks.
A practical choice for any graduate, a scroll holder will keep that important document safe but also allow it to be on display in the home. These can be engraved with the name and letters of the person graduating and are a subtle but beautiful way to mark the momentous occasion.
A luxury pen is the kind of gift one rarely invests in for themselves, making it the perfect treat for any graduate. These can also be engraved and often come in many different styles and colours. With most graduates leaving university to enter the world of work, a pen is a wonderful gift that will come in handy when it comes to the young graduate starting their career.
An important part of every graduation day is taking photos to remember the occasion. What better gift, therefore, than a beautiful photo frame in which they can display their photos of the day? Silver photo frames which can be engraved with the graduation date and the honours earned are a popular choice.
Graduation gifts will vary throughout the world depending on the traditions and customs in place. In Ireland, graduate gifts strike a balance between proudly displaying the graduate’s achievement (via a scroll holder or photo frame), and a memento of their time in education that they can take into the working world (jewellery or an expensive and/or personalised pen).
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