Top o’ the mornin’ to ye Lads and Lassies and the rest of the day to ‘me self! Are ye Irish perchance? If ye aren’t – not to worry because the Irish believe –
“A handful of skill is better than a bagful of gold.” ~ Irish Proverb
The Luck of the Irish is celebrated each March 17th, not only in Ireland but throughout the world by Irish and non-Irish alike. Originally dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a more secular celebration of Irish heritage, including parades, festivals, and gatherings around the world. In fact, it is the most widely celebrated saint’s day on the planet. Just remember you will need to be “wearin’ o’ the green”.
Celebrate the Luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day
The whole world loves the Irish. How could anyone not? No other country is as stereotypically drunk, fun and friendly. No other country has been the direct or indirect cause of populating so many other countries. In North America and other places in the New World, millions claim Irish ancestry and take extreme pride in their roots – including the writer of this blog! Aye, me grinmither, she came from Dooblin, she did.
In Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, boast as being almost exclusively made up of Irish descendants so like Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is regarded as a public holiday. According to the Irish Tourist Office, around 70 million people around the world consider themselves Irish or of Irish ancestry. And according to American census reports, more than 10 times more Irish are living in North America than in Ireland. Even Barack Obama has Irish roots!
St. Patrick’s Day is honored in many ways and not only in Irish pubs! A number of business offices have embraced the tradition so you may see many wearing something green next Tuesday. You know there are more than “fifty shades” to choose from! If you don’t own any clothing, how about finding a green scarf, tie, pin or socks? Wearing green is believed to make one invisible to leprechauns who will pinch anyone they see!
All things Irish that Bring Luck
The Luck of the Irish isn’t luck at all, but more of an attitude, a positive look at a bad situation. It is a peculiar phrase that may have multiple meanings. There is little agreement on the origins of this idiom, and some suggest it simply means that the Irish are inherently lucky, and seem to be able to land on their feet whenever a bad circumstance may occur.
Celtic Music is associated with St. Patrick’s Day—and Irish culture in general. The Celts had an oral culture, where religion, legend and history were passed from one generation to the next by way of stories and songs. In Canada there are a number of talented Celtic groups that have modernized this music and kept it alive.
“Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don’t want to press your luck.”
Did ye know that St. Paddy’s Day ……
- Was a dry holiday in Ireland until 1970. Being a religious holiday the pubs were closed.
- The real St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was born in Britain (some say Wales) around A.D. 390.
- The color traditionally associated with St. Patrick was blue, not green.
- The shamrock was considered a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring and some say the holy trinity.
- The song ” Danny Boy” was written by an Englishman and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” was written by two Americans.
- Vancouver holds a Celticfest that includes a St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, March 15th.
- Montreal boasts the longest-running St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country (since 1824)
- Toronto maintains a very large and representative St. Patrick’s Day Parade with floats from nearly every county in Ireland.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team was known as the Toronto St. Patrick’s from 1919 to 1927, and wore green jerseys. When the Maple Leafs played on Saint Patrick’s Day 1999, they wore green Saint Patrick’s retro uniforms to honor the day.
- Irish-Americans are the largest ethnic group in Chicago and the city dyes a portion of the Chicago River green as a tribute to St. Patrick’s Day.
- There are 10 well known sites and monuments around the world that are ‘lit up’ in honor of St. Paddy’s Day.
- On any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the famous Irish stout brand, are consumed around the world. According to Guinness drinking of the “Black Stuff” more than doubles to 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day.
- “Dance as if no one were watching, Sing as if no one were listening, And live every day as if it were your last” is an old Irish saying
“What’s the craic?” (Irish for fun/enjoyment)
Green beer has become a staple and popular symbol for St. Patrick’s Day. So how does one make Green Beer? It takes a wee bit of effort!
Step 1 – place beer mugs in the refrigerator to chill
Step 2 – add a drop of either green food coloring OR a couple of drops of Blue Curacoa into the bottom of the mugs BEFORE pouring a pale colored beer
Step 3 – hold the mug at a 45 degree angle and begin to pour the beer aiming at the midpoint – halfway down the mug. Tilt the mug up as the beer reaches the halfway point. Finish with a ½ – 1 ½ inch head.
Step 4 – offer a blessing to get your Irish eyes smilin’ – see below
Considering the Irish do love their pubs, beer and whiskey, it is only natural that they would have a number of colorful phrases that have been developed into Toasts and Blessings.
- Here’s to you and yours and to mine and ours. And if mine and ours ever come across to you and yours, I hope you and yours will do as much for mine and ours as mine and ours have done for you and yours!
- May your heart be light and happy, may your smile be big and wide, and may your pockets always have a coin or two inside!
- May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more. May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.
- May the luck of the Irish be with you!
- There are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were.
- May the road rise up to meet you.
- May the wind be always at your back.
- May you live as long as you want
And never want as long as you live
- Peace on your hand and health to all who shake it
- May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
- May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead.
Enjoy a Guiness on St. Paddy’s Day morn’
or how about a Baby Guinness? To make this ‘shot’, in a shot glass, layer 1/2 oz of Bailey’s Irish Cream on top of 1 1/4 oz of the Kahlua.
Life’s too short not to be Irish
So when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around next Tuesday morn’, let’s have a wee bit o’ the Irish in all of us. No one is going to be helping themselves to a pint or a whiskey on the job, so here is an Irish Cream recipe that can be safely enjoyed by each lass and lad – whether it be bucketing down (raining) or the day be grand. Make it Irish and all will seem bright and gay! (Bailey’s Irish Cream – optional)
Irish morn’ coffee ingredients
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
In a blender, combine the first eight ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.
For each serving, place coffee in a mug. Stir in 1/3 cup Irish cream. Heat mixture in a microwave if desired.
Yield: 3-1/3 cups and 10 servings