Monday, March 04, 2013

Kiss Me I'm Irish

The Irish are known to be lucky, so if someone needs good luck, they should kiss an Irishman or woman. We are reminded of this belief during the month of March when millions of people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Paddy’s Day is celebrated on March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death. For some, it is a celebration to honor the patron saint of Ireland. For others, it is a celebration of Ireland itself.
Whether you are descended from the Irish, as I am, or you just enjoy drinking green beer, people of all colors and tongues, seem to join the party with great enthusiasm.
St. Patrick was a missionary to Ireland. The Shamrock, which we always see associated with the celebrations, was a symbol used by St. Pat to teach the Holy Trinity.

Some of the fascination with Ireland surrounds the myths and legends that come from that part of the world. St. Patrick was believed to have run all of the snakes off the island during a forty day fast.
At Irish pubs in the states, you’ll often see people jig dancing, or attempting to do so. It is a folk dance and there are many different variations of the jig. You don’t have to be Fred or Ginger to enjoy trying. My advice is to shuffle your feet and stomp a little. The green beer will give you the confidence you need.
The traditional meal of the day is Corned Beef and Cabbage. I’ve heard this is an American tradition, not an Irish one. Either way, it is tasty. Click the name for the recipe.
Another activity that some people are likely to participate in during the festivities is a Pub Crawl. This is where a group of people hit all the bars in one day and/or night. The results often involve dancing a jig or in extreme cases, offering up the corned beef and cabbage at the porcelain throne.
Green beer, cheap beer dyed green, isn’t the only beverage choice for the day.  Guinness, the pride of Ireland, is an acceptable option. This beer is stout so drinking more than one is very filling. Then, of course, there is Irish whiskey (Jameson, Bushmills, etc.). My throat burns just thinking about it. For those of us who want a small taste without the hangover, I suggest an Irish coffee with a splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream.
While on a pub crawl many years ago, a friend of mine who formerly lived in Ireland taught me a Gaelic toast. It was actually the Irish blessing many of us know and adore.

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And the rain fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of His hand

All of this is related to writing because in my current WIP, I am incorporating a little bit of Irish legend into a contemporary romance. Visit My Blog on the Wednesday before St. Paddy’s Day to learn more. I will be giving away a cool prize to a commenter living in the continental US on that blog.
Meanwhile, however you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I hope that you will have a great one this year and maybe a little of that Irish luck will rub off. My husband says I’m unavailable for kisses.

May your blessings outnumber the Shamrocks that grow,
and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

 How do you celebrate St. Paddy’s day?

4 comments: said...

I actually visited the Jamison whisky distillery when I visited Ireland. I won a whisky tasting contest, blue ribbon, certificate and cheers from the locals. Most fun I ever had, I even distingiished the James Taylor twelve year old. Pat me on the back. Those folk really know how to make whisky,maybe where my talent comes from. I can make a mean blue flame burning home brew!

Mary Ellen Quigley said...

I'm Irish-American, so St. Patrick's Day is a big deal to my family. Although for us it's more of a holy day of obligation than it is a drinking fest. I love hearing all the legends and stories though.

Meda White said...

@Baxley- you have talented taste buds to be sure. Cheers!

@Mary Ellen- it was really interesting to research St. Patrick. There are several neat legends that I came across. Best wishes!

Louisa Cornell said...

My first college roommate was an Irish girl - last name Murphy. I still send her a St. Patrick's day card every year. And I will be eating corned beef and cabbage on the 17th. That is the ONLY day you will catch me eating cabbage. Not a fan!

We will start decorating St. Patrick's Day cupcakes and cakes in a day or so in preparation for the holiday.