This week includes St. Patrick’s Day (La Fheile Padraig for you purists), and those who are of Irish descent, those who wish they were, and those who simply welcome an excuse to party in or out of their Bradley Beach NJ home will be celebrating on the 17th. Although the commemoration actually began as a Catholic feast day, it has long been a secular celebration of Irish culture, one marked by going green in terms music, food, drink, apparel, and decorations. So, in keeping with the spirit of the day, grab a pint of green beer or green tea, play some Celtic music, relax, and read on…
- During the 5th century missionary St. Patrick, really born Maewyn Succat in England, is said to have banished dangerous animals, particularly snakes, from Ireland.
- Ireland established a national day in his honor in 1903.
- The first St. Patty’s parade in the U.S. was held in Boston in 1737.
- The tri-part leaf of the shamrock was used by St. Patrick to represent the three parts of the Trinity.
- If a leprechaun is caught, he must tell you where to find the gold. If you take your eyes off him, however, he will disappear.
- Chicago has been dying its river green for 40 years.
- Notable Irish parades are held in New York, Chicago, and Boston each year.
- Wearing green apparel.
- Pinching anyone who is not wearing green.
- Drinking green beer.
- Blue, not green, was the color originally associated with the holiday.
- At least 13 million pints of Guinness will be served on the 17th.
- There are more Irish Americans living in the U.S. than there are residents of Ireland. (Think you may be of Irish descent? Check this out!)
TIPS FOR A PARTY IN YOUR BRADLEY BEACH NJ HOME:
- Show Irish movies (Leap Year, Circle of Friends, Far and Away, or The Quiet Man)
- Serve Irish soda bread, Irish coffee, corned beef and cabbage (originally bacon and cabbage).
- Decorate with long-stemmed bells of Ireland, shamrock plants (oxalis), and baby’s tears.
- Use green ribbon to embellish candles or tie napkins.
- Display a bowl of green apples, hollowing out a few to hold votive candles.
- Make liberal use of green food coloring to tint beverages.
- Hold an Irish sing-a-long.
So there you have it, Irish aficionados, suggestions for ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy yourself, b’gosh and begorrah!
“May the road rise up to meet you; may the wind be ever at your back…”