A Bit O' The Green

Cead Mile Failte! 
A hundred thousand welcomes!
(pronounced "kade meela falcha")

Isn't this a magical sight to behold?  Ireland:  a beautiful land of green fields and stone walls.  A people known for their kindness and warmth and the gift of weaving a tale through story or song.

Therefore may I ask: when, where, how and why did St. Patrick's Day, the one day that represents this lovely country, become the tackiest of all American holidays?

I grew up in an Irish home; my parents emigrated from Ireland to Boston in the late '50s/early '60s and met each other here.  My brothers played Irish football, I Irish step-danced,  my mother made beef stew or some kind of meat and potatoes dish every night of the week.  St. Patrick's Day meant wearing something kelly green to show pride in our roots.  It did not mean get down with your inner cheeseball:

(image from iParty)

Okay, I'll admit I may have contributed to the image of this holiday during my college years.  But now that I'm an adult - am I really an adult if I think Will Farrell is hilarious??? - I'm curious as to whether this day could be considered more than an excuse to wear mardi-gras-esque costumes and get stinkin' drunk? 

Given that this Wednesday represents my family's homeland, along with 37 million other Americans who have Irish roots, I daresay I shall try to make it a wee bit educational for my kiddos (just don't tell them that).  Perhaps you would like to show off your vast Irish knowledge as well?  Here are a few tidbits about the land of St. Paddy to wow your coworkers, family and friends; especially impressive if you can remember the answers to the trivia questions while wearing a green feather boa and drinking a green beer!

What is Ireland's nickname? 
The Emerald Isle
What colors make up the Irish flag? 
Green, white and orange
What American city dyes a river green for St. Paddy's Day?  What river? 
Chicago/Chicago River
What is the national symbol of Ireland? 
If you said the clover....you'd be incorrect.  It is the harp.
What do the four leaves of the clover represent? 
Hope, faith, love and luck
What do the hands, heart and crown on the claddagh ring represent? 
Faith, love and loyalty
Name two of the four Irish writers to receive the Nobel Peace Prize: 
William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney
What are the four provinces of Ireland? 
Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster
What is the capital of Ireland? 
What does Erin Go Bragh mean? 
Ireland Forever (pronounced "erin go bra")
My little darlings might even receive some kisses (the Hersheys kind) from a magical leprechaun.  I hope the little leprechaun finds you too! 
Slainte (cheers)!
I found this poem at Di's Delightful Creations, where you can find lots of cute craft inspiration for you and your little ones!


Anonymous said...

Now Lisa,I have been corrected by my neighbors, a lovely couple from Mayo, that the Irish flag is not green, white and orange but in fact green, white and GOLD :)

Lisa said...

Thank you for the comment! My own mother, from Galway, also feels that the true colors are green, white and gold. However, Ireland's Dept. of Taoiseach (the office of the Prime Minister) claims it to be green, white and orange. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Ireland for more info.
Anyone else want to weigh in?

Lisa said...

I'm editing this comment to add - if my blessed mother says green, white and gold, then it's green, white and gold! It's her beloved country and it's been green, white and gold in her heart for 69 years.