Green A Go Go On St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 2012

Shamrocks, leprechauns, fairies, oh my! Gaelic dances, Scottish bagpipes, Irish top hats, knees up,  Guinness guzzling, tall tales about beer drinking,  bar brawling, fiery redheaded, hot tempered, story-tale spinners Irish abound.

Irish pubs around the world, including the 2472 in Continental Europe, will be packed tonight, but the celebration may be even bigger in the  New World!   http://www.st-patricks-day.com/

Like so many Americans, I can trace back  a wee bit of Irish in me Scottish blood and loyally wore green to school on March 17th. 36.9 million Americans reported Irish ancestry, which is 8 times more than the population of Ireland. And another 3.5 million claim Scotch-Irish blood like myself . An estimated 50-100,000 came in the 1600s and another million arrived in 1700s continuing throughout the Potato Famine years.

Bars will spill over into the street with people dressed in green; extremists will eat only green food and hold green dinner parties. Beer, water, and even the Chicago River at Michigan and Wacker flows green on St. Paddy’s. http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/03/15/saint-patricks-day-2012-in-chicago

Parades and celebrations proliferate across major cities in the US, especially in places with a large Irish American population like Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. But what are we celebrating?

Uillean or Irish Elbow Bagpipes

Uillean or Irish Elbow Bagpipes

 

St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century, symbolizes the Irish worldwide, but holds particular significance for Americans. The Irish were the largest contingency, after the Germans, to immigrate. As the first big group of poor refugees to arrive  in the USA, they suffered from the brunt of American resentment.

The predominately working class people settled in cities forming the backbone of communities particularly serving in law enforcement in the Northeast. Though in the past Irish were often negatively stereotyped as drunken, reckless, kick-up-a-row, rabble rousers, they rose to leadership positions. A bit of their so called rebellious spirit helped lead to the making of America. Eight Irishmen signed the declaration of Independence and Presidents from Andrew Jackson to Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama claim Irish ancestry.

Today Irish Americans are no longer the underdogs; they have earned the right to be educated in elite universities and to become CEOs, and civic leaders based on their talents. They paved the way for the waves of immigrants who followed in their footsteps from Europe and other place.

So enjoy St. Paddy’s Day Shamrocks, leprechauns, anything green rites of spring and lively, good of ol’Irish mischievousness.  And if life is a struggle and you are not feeling so frivolous right now,  remember  my favorite Gaelic saying:

Dá fhaid é an lá tiocfaidh an tráthnóna

No matter how long the day, the evening will come.
This too shall pass.

Wherever you are whatever your poison, I raise my fine emerald wine, to your green Guinness or  lime Kool Aid.  To the Irish!

Sláinte –to your health!

Posted in humor, inspiration, relationships, social view.

17 Comments

  1. Thanks Dian. How interesting about your grandfather. Have you traced your ancestry back any farther? Was your mom’s side from Ireland too?
    Researching the family line is so fascinating, but once I get started I don’t get anything else done!!! Good tip about the Hunger Games series. I will check with my English students after the holiday…know my own Big Kids loved the books & film.

  2. Happy St Paddy’s Day, Patty! Though I don’t have a drop of Irish blood in me, everyone is Irish ” in spirit” today. I raise my green tea to you and all the Irish!

  3. Happy St Paddy’s Day, Patty! Though I don’t have a drop of Irish blood in me, everyone is Irish ” in spirit” today. I raise my green tea to you and all the Irish!

  4. As you may well know, there is a very large Irish population in Boston and boy! do they like to do it up right. Our annual parade is being held the day after this year, so that makes one wonder. All I can figure out is that everyone needs a FULL day (without any interruptions) to drink their Guiness! No kidding. I heard on the morning news that all the Irish bars in downtown Boston opened up early so the drinking could begin. So with St. Patrick spreading the Christian faith, how did beer drinking become associated with this holiday! It just makes me smile!

    • Of course the green team, Boston Celtics, is a dead give away! We saw on French TV sports round up that the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks also played Saturdays games in green uniforms. Thanks for sharing your funny observation about the Irish tradition in your hometown.

  5. As you may well know, there is a very large Irish population in Boston and boy! do they like to do it up right. Our annual parade is being held the day after this year, so that makes one wonder. All I can figure out is that everyone needs a FULL day (without any interruptions) to drink their Guiness! No kidding. I heard on the morning news that all the Irish bars in downtown Boston opened up early so the drinking could begin. So with St. Patrick spreading the Christian faith, how did beer drinking become associated with this holiday! It just makes me smile!

    • Of course the green team, Boston Celtics, is a dead give away! We saw on French TV sports round up that the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks also played Saturdays games in green uniforms. Thanks for sharing your funny observation about the Irish tradition in your hometown.

  6. We just came back from celebrating St Patricks Day in Texas with our son Steve. Yes there are some proud Irish in Denton Texas and Yes the Guiness tastes pretty darn good there.

  7. We just came back from celebrating St Patricks Day in Texas with our son Steve. Yes there are some proud Irish in Denton Texas and Yes the Guiness tastes pretty darn good there.

  8. Hi, Pat,

    Sorry I have not been commenting on your always welcome blogs. My grandfather came from Ireland with three brothers, leaving the farm with his father, one brother, and some sisters. He brought the red hair and evidently some cash, as he got his law degree and became a bank official. However, he was a convert to Christian Science, so we never herd anything about St. Patrick’s Day.

    I was down 6 weeks and am still not up from a back attack. This week it has been the tax accountant (thank goodness I don’t have to do Turbo Tax any more with my bad eyes) and plans for clearing out our old, unsold house. There will be a tag sale the 20th and then they will either sell what’s left at auction, give it to charity, or dump it. The house will be empty, they tell me. Wonderful!

    The nicest surprise here is that the tree in front of our “cottage” burst into white blossoms, beautiful. Now there is a big flowering lilac out front, and a large hosta is coming up by the door. When we moved in, it was impossible to tell what was what. The best part — we don’t have to arrange for grass cutting here. Bad news– we do have to get the grass at Ye Olde House cut. I hope someone falls in love with the place soon. It has a lot of good points but does need work. People could move in and do it slowly, but everyone wants move-in condition for no money. Wish us luck.

    Are your kids into Hunger Games? I read about a 7th grade teacher whose students were fighting over the classroom copy. She bought more books with here own money and then talked the school into buying copies of the trilogy for the whole class. She based. semester on discussion of the issues in the book. My father used to say, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” I guess this is such a case. Good idea!

    • Thanks Dian. How interesting about your grandfather. Have you traced your ancestry back any farther? Was your mom’s side from Ireland too?
      Researching the family line is so fascinating, but once I get started I don’t get anything else done!!! Good tip about the Hunger Games series. I will check with my English students after the holiday…know my own Big Kids loved the books & film.

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