Monday, December 13, 2004
Why I love this day...
To find out about other American holidays that bring the nation together, check out these blogs:
Fourth of July
But first, read on to learn more about St. Patrick's day in all of its glory!
Saturday, December 11, 2004
St. Patrick's Day Fun Facts
This holiday has a lot of trivia associated with it. Did you know that:
**St.Patrick wasn't really Irish
**10% of all St Patrick's Day cards are sold in New York
**The following things on St. Patrick's Day will bring you good luck: finding a four-leaf clover, wearing green, and kissing the Blarney Stone
**Nine of the people who signed our Declaration Of Independence were of Irish origin
**21 Presidents of the United States proudly claim Irish heritage (including first President George Washington)
**The phrase, "Drowning The Shamrock" is from the custom of floating the shamrock on the top of whiskey before drinking it. The Irish believe that if you keep the custom, then you will have a prosperous year
**Many people dye their hair green for the special day
**People who suffer from chromatophobia (the fear of colors or of green) do not enjoy St. Patrick's Day
**The world's smallest park, totaling 452 inches, was created in Portland, Oregon on St. Patrick's Day for leprechauns and snail races
For more fun-filled facts and other information on this holiday, click here!
Friday, December 10, 2004
St. Patrick's Day Drink and Food
As for food, corned beef and cabbage are the preferred foods to eat on St. Patrick's Day. These are traditional Irish foods and many Americans like to celebrate the holiday by preparing meals that include these two items. Irish stew and Irish soda bread are also popular foods to eat in the U.S..
For a yummy corned beef and cabbage recipe, click here
Thursday, December 09, 2004
St. Patrick's Day Color and Symbols
The overpowering color of St. Patrick's Day is green. Everything is turned green for the day and it is a requirement to wear something green in order to avoid being pinched. You can wear anything from a green ribbon to a green shirt or hat. Many people also wear St. Patrick's Day pins. The green is a symbol of springtime, hope, feritility and eternal life.
There are two prominent symbols that are connected to St. Patrick's Day. The shamrock is one such symbol. As mentioned in 'Traditions' it is important to the holiday because the three leaves representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with the stem representing the Godhead. St. Patrick used the shamrock in order to prove that the Trinity existed.
Another symbol that is relevant to U.S.'s celebration of St. Patrick's Day is leprechauns. Although leprechauns are characters in Irish folklore, they have nothing to do with the religious holiday. However, in America, they are heavily associated with Ireland and St. Patrick's Day. In fact, it was not even established in the U.S. until 1959 when Disney's movie Darby O'Gill & the Little People where Americans got a different view of these small men found in Irish folklore. In the film, the leprechauns were cheerful and friendly, which conformed the American view on them and created the association between leprechauns and St. Patrick's Day.
If you are intrigued by leprechauns, check out this website. It has a webcam set up and you can leprechaun watch!
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
St. Patrick's Day Traditions
Despite the fact that St. Patrick's Day is not an official holiday in the United States, it is celebrated widely. In Ireland it is viewed as a religious holiday, but in America it is a secular celebration of Irish Americans. Traditionally March 17 is a daylong celebration of all things Irish. All nationalities come together for this day and are "Irish."
There are many St. Patrick's Day traditions including parades, wearing green, drinking (green beer is a traditional beverage) and priding on the little bit of Irish that is in everyone. New York City, which has the largest Irish American population in the country, has the largest parade. Other major cities that host parades are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Kansas City. In addition to the annual parade in Chicago, the Chicago River is turned bright green for the day. Wearing green is a necessity on St. Patrick's Day or one runs the chance of being pinched by schoolmates, co-workers and family members. Many Irish Americans also try to get people to kiss them "because they're Irish." The shamrock is the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick used the clover to explain the Christian concept of the Trinity (the three leaves representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with the stem representing the Godhead), which is why the shamrock is associated with the holiday.
Nowadays St. Patrick's Day is so deeply embedded in our culture that it has become tradition to send cards. Roughly 16 million St. Patrick's Day cards are bought each year making it the ninth largest card-sending occasion in the United States.
Click here for some St. Patrick's Day crafts, recipes and songs
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
St. Patrick's Day History
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17. St. Patrick was born towards the end of the fourth century and died on March 17, around 460 A.D. He is known as the patron saint of Ireland and converted thousands of people to christianity during his thirty years of mission work. The Irish observe this day as a religious holiday, but in America, it is observed as more of a celebration of being Irish. The first St. Patrick's Day parade was in the United States in 1762. Irish soldiers serving in the English army initiated the parade and began the trend of celebrating this holiday in a patriotic manner. Even during times of poverty, Irish Americans celebrated St. Patrick's Day with parades and parties to the dislike of other Americans.
Nowadays, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in numerous countries around the world. In Ireland it is still a religious holiday and until 1995, pubs were not allowed to be open on St. Patrick's Day. In an effort to increase tourism, the Irish government encouraged people to visit Ireland over St. Patrick's Day and turned the holiday more into a celebration than a religious holiday. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland 's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin. The festival consisted of a multi-day celebration including parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.
Click here to take the Irish I.Q. quiz and see how educated you are on Ireland and its culture