Saint Patrick’s day is tomorrow. I’ll bet you knew that! But I bet you didn’t know that there are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin, Ireland.
The Irish, and those who wish they were, will use the day as an excuse for fun and imbibing. Green beer and Irish whiskey will be served with many wearing green attire and shamrocks. One tradition is to pinch anyone not wearing green that day.
Here’s the reason for the celebration. Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish. It was made an official feast day in the 17th century.
I found it interesting that the first parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
Sixteen U.S. places share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. With 44,541 residents, Dublin, California, is the largest of those, followed by, nearby, Dublin, Ohio, with 39,310.
It is also believed St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. However, Ireland never actually had snakes. Many believe that the term “snakes” referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place. Today, there are no snakes to be found!
Three is Ireland’s magic number and the three petals that make up the shamrock are supposed to bring good luck. The three leaves also represent the Trinity in the Christian religion.
It has been said an Irishman is a man who may not believe there is a God, but is darn sure of the infallibility of the Pope. He won’t eat meat on Friday, but will drink Jameson whiskey for breakfast. He also has great respect for the truth, and uses it in emergencies. He sees things not as they are, but the way they will never be. He also cries at sad movies but cheers in battle and gets more Irish the further he gets from Ireland.
The Irish have a wonderful sense of humor often involving alcohol. We now laugh with them – not at them!
For example: McQuillan walked into a bar ordering martini after martini, each time removing the olives and placing them in a jar. When the jar was filled with olives and all the drinks consumed, he started to leave. “Excuse me,” said a customer who was puzzled over what McQuillan had done. “What was that all about?”
“Nothing,” said McQuillan, “My wife just sent me out for a jar of olives.”
Here’s another one: Paddy phones an ambulance because his mate’s been hit by a car.
Paddy – “Get an ambulance here quick, he’s bleeding from his nose and ears and I think both his legs are broken.”
Operator – “What is your location sir?”
Paddy – “Outside number 28 Eucalyptus Street.”
Operator – “How do you spell that sir?”
Silence … heavy breathing, and after a minute,
Operator – “Are you there sir?”
More heavy breathing and another minute later,
Operator – “Sir, can you hear me?”
This goes on for another few minutes until,
Operator – “Sir, please answer me. Can you still hear me?”
Paddy – “Yes, sorry bout dat … I couldn’t spell eucalyptus, so I just
dragged him round to number 3 Oak Street.”
The Irish wishes may also be the best! Here’s one: “Like the warmth of the sun and light of the day, may the luck of the Irish shine bright on your way.”
Here’s another: “These things I warmly wish for you – someone to love, some work to do, a bit of sun, a bit of cheer and a guardian angel always near.”
This may be my favorite: “May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be at your back. May the sunshine be warm upon your face, rain fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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