Saturday, March 12, 2016

An Irish Thing

According to historical accounts, St. Patrick was born in England (in Roman times), not Ireland. He arrived in Ireland via kidnapping and was sold into slavery. Eventually, he escaped to a monastery in France (Gaul). He returned to Ireland in 432 A.D. as a missionary where he converted thousands to Christianity, driving out the Pagans, or "snakes" as they were called. There are no real snakes in Ireland, depending on your definition. He became a bishop and was named Ireland's Patron Saint.

Irish emigrants to the United States inflated St. Patty's Day celebrations as a way of connecting with their roots, green rivers, green beer, green clothes for the green isle. When I was in elementary school if I didn't wear green on St. Patty's Day, I could expect to be pinched. I wore green. We even exchanged St. Patrick's Day cards. It was a big deal...and I was English way back when sometime.

And then there is this luck thing that's associated with the green day. The three-leaf clover is a symbol of the trinity, but a four-leaf clover brings good luck. And kissing the Blarney Stone, that makes you lucky in love. Leprechauns, another Irish thing, were paid by fairies for their work with golden coins. Once I had a little leprechaun in my garden to protect my plants from danger. It didn't work. I think you need a green thumb for that and mine is mostly brown, but he was pretty. In time, the rain ate some of him away and he had to be discarded.

There's special food and drink on the green day, corned beef and cabbage and a good pint are the most popular. Here where I live we have several pubs (bars) that cater to the theme all this week, Dirty Nelly's, Mother's, Beef O'Brady's. If you have imposed food restrictions on yourself for Lent, the Irish give you permission to lift them for this one day, March 17th.

My husband was Irish, but he wasn't much for celebrations. Leprechauns interested him though. We'd all like to find that pot of gold, and rainbows are beautiful whether there is gold at the end or not

All things considered, the Irish have given us a lot of things to think about, things we wouldn't know of without them. I was lucky in love without the Blarney Stone, but if I happened to be nearby, I'd have to give it a try.



2 comments:

  1. Don't forget the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. My daughter lives on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Every time I visit, there is a rainbow that seems to end just behind a little hill. On the other side of the hill is the neighbor's cow barn and pasture. To my knowledge, no one has dug there for the pot of gold, but the rainbows are always in that same place. Makes me wonder!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Living on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a pot of gold! I'll bet it's beautiful.

    Thanks for stopping by, Marie.

    ReplyDelete