Six Ways To Celebrate St.Patrick's Day
March 17th: Celebrate Irish-ness!
The Irish people are probably one of the best known races in the world, for their shamrocks, tricolour flag, "luck" and leprechauns. What an iconic race! St.Patrick's Day occurs on the 17th March every year and is Ireland's national day.
Millions of people get involved on St.Patrick's Day every year with people from Japan, America, Europe and Australia taking part in the celebrations and parades. The Irish Prime Minister even pays a visit to the US President at the White House. Many buildings and landmarks "go green" including the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, Sidney Opera House and the White House's fountain. Most of us feel like we are related to the Irish somehow, since millions emigrated during the Great Famine and recession into countries such as Canada, Australia and America. If you are American, chances are that you could be related to the Irish people because millions of Irish people landed in America (especially New York) in search of work during the Famine in the 1800's and played a major role in American society.
No matter where you live in the world, you can get involved too! Here are six ways that you can celebrate St.Patrick's Day and become a true Irish person!
1. Learn Some Irish
Irish is widely spoken in Ireland but mainly in the West Of Ireland. English is now the dominant language of the country with the majority speaking English as their first language. However, students in schools have to keep learning Irish until they are 18 years of age, under the education syllabus. It may never be of use to them in the wider world but at least they can speak in the native language of their country! To celebrate St.Patrick's Day, try speaking some Irish too. The pronunciations are difficult but the phonetics are included also.
- Dia Duit - Hello - Deeya Gwit
- Conas atá tú? - How are you? - Cunas ataw too
- Tá mé go maith - I am fine - Taw may go mah
- Go raibh maith agat - Thank you - Go rev mah agut
- .... is ainm dom - My name is ... - Is anim dum
Yes! Irish is quite difficult but is most definitely worth a try. It is a very authentic language with a Celtic feel to it and adds some variety to language learning.
2. Get The Luck Of The Irish
One of the best known things about the Irish is their "luck" and prosperity. You know the saying, "Must be the luck of the Irish!". What makes the Irish so lucky? Perhaps it is their many lucky charms. Here are some lucky charms you can make yourself.
Grow/Find Your Own Lucky Shamrocks - These do-it-yourself kits are great for getting a chance to grow some lucky shamrocks. These kits are supposed to grow the four clover shamrock but I have tried these kits before and I just grew the normal three leaved shamrocks. Nonetheless, the shamrock is a very powerful symbol in Ireland which resembles the Trinity in Christian traditions. Depending on your area, you just might find some shamrocks in a park or farm. There are many varieties of clover from large ones to miniature ones, the list goes on. Try finding a couple of shamrocks and press them for a few months in a book. Once pressed, you can include them in scrapbooks or for decorating crafts.
Get A Lucky Penny: If you have a penny, quarter or cent with you, try turning it into a lucky penny! Pick out a coin that you want to use and hold it. Irish folklore states that you can make a wish on a penny by holding it and wishing whatever it is you want in your head. Or, try throwing a penny into a fountain and making a wish. The Irish always say that their wishes come true if they throw a penny into a well or fountain. I have given it a go and always was successful (believe me!).
Craft Some Irish Icons: The Irish have many icons which could give you some luck including the harp, tricolour flag and the four clover shamrock. You can make a badge out of these and wear them on St.Patrick's Day or if you just want a little luck. To craft one of these badges, simply print out or draw a lucky Irish icon such as a four leaf clover or a harp. Then, stick it onto some cardboard and add glitter. The result? A beautiful, Irish badge! Wear it with pride!
Irish Traditional InstrumentsClick thumbnail to view full-size
3. Listen To Irish Music
One of the best talents of the Irish is their music playing and singing. They have so many legendary singers, songwriters, bands and musicians spanning all genres from Irish traditional music to Celtic singing to the pop world. Famous Irish singers and bands include the Dubliners, Enya, U2 and Westlife. One Direction's Niall Horan is Irish too. So you can see the magical talent that the Irish have when it comes to singing and what a better way to celebrate St.Patrick's Day then to listen to some Irish traditional music. Below is a sample of what Irish music has to offer.
Irish traditional music contains instruments such as:
- Banjo - A small circular form of guitar with a sharp yet appealing sound.
- Tin whistle - A whistle with many holes that produce various notes when you blow through the top of the whistle. It produces a mellow sound that sounds beautiful and so Celtic. There are all sorts of tunes you can play with the trusty tin whistle. It is definitely an instrument to try to learn and isn't too difficult.
- Harp - This is another iconic Irish instrument originating from hundreds of years ago. the very first harp was called the Old Irish Harp which consisted of gut strings that had to be played with long fingernails. Today we have the Neo Irish Harp which has nylon strings and is quite larger than the Old Irish Harp. It produces bell-like sounds and every time I listen to the harp, it adds a magical atmosphere to the room.
Irish music is very diverse and has even fusioned with other music genres including rock and pop introducing guitars, piano and even instruments of the orchestra.
Riverdance is a type of Irish dance that consists of Irish music playing whilst the dancers tap dance in rhythm to the music. The dancers usually have to dance in unison with each other and dance in a straight line a lot of the time. It is a truly beautiful kind of dance, that should be watched. Riverdance has sold out shows across the world including China, Japan and America.
Did You Know?
Irish diaspora (the entering of Irish people into other countries) claims to have over 100 million people. That is fifteen times the population of Ireland. These 100 million people are now in society and could be your grandmother, uncle or father. Is this you?
What is your favourite part of the Irish culture?
4. Trace Your Family History
We are all related to the Irish somehow, we can feel it in our blood. Everyone wants to be a part of the Irish race no matter what. It is probably the Celtic spirit and personality that draws us all in. Being related to the Irish could be a fantasy for a lot of us but the self-belief that we are Irish could be true especially in America.
During the Great Famine in the 1800's, the entire population relied heavily on the potato crop, it was their primary and perhaps only crop. This worked well for most families, just eat potatoes filled them up and they were never as hungry as they were going to be down the line. Then the potato blights came and destroyed every potato in Ireland. The poor were forced to work in soup kitchens and many scavenged on the streets. Some "stole" from the wealthy landlords (including wheat and fish) and they were sentenced to exile in Tasmania and Australia.
The Irish population was halved (from 8 million to 4 million) as 4 million left Ireland in search of a better life elsewhere. They travelled on ships to America and landed in New York. These Irish people became involved in American society and many Americans claim Irish ancestry today. The leaving of the irish people and entering into other countries is known as Irish diaspora. Barack Obama even claims Irish ancestry in the midlands of Ireland.
How can you find out whether you are related to the Irish? The best way to do so is to check out the local library or archives in your local area. The archives usually contain birth certificates, documents of marriage or other interesting documents. You can trace back to your mother and then to your grandmother and so on. You may find an interesting lead, maybe your aunt's mother was an Irish immigrant in the 20th Century. Who knows?
5. Eat Green Food For The Day
Ireland. The land of green hills and green grass. Green hedges and green lawns. In fact, everything is green. That is why green is Ireland's "national" colour (if that makes sense). So that is why you should try eating more green food on St.Patrick's Day. Here are some green food alternatives you can try out for the day.
- Try blending a delicious green smoothie with kiwis and white grapes. You can add some other fruits of course such as bananas and even melon which won't radically change the colour of the smoothie. Add some lime to give a citrus taste. The result is an energizing, citrusy smoothie. Nice.
- Have a crunch at some fruits such as green apples, grapes, a lime (if you can manage it) or green, not ripened bananas.
- Bake some cupcakes and you can add green food colouring to the mixture to create green cupcakes. Then, you can add some green icing on top too.
Beautiful and Tasty Irish Cupcakes
6. Eat Potatoes At Every Meal
The Irish love their potatoes at every meal, and eat them in their many forms. There are literally hundreds of ways to enjoy a potato. Why not celebrate by trying to include at least one potato at every meal? It will be a fun and tasty challenge for you to complete. Here are some ways for you to eat a potato at every meal.
- Potato Farls - These are delicious for breakfast and are not exactly made of pure potato but also include wheat and flour. Heat them up and enjoy with some toppings.
- Baked Potato - Cook a whole potato, in its jacket in an oven for approximately 1 hour and take it out. Add a "cross" shape to the potato by slicing each side (like hot cross buns) and add butter in the crack. They are best served steaming/piping hot.
- Roast potatoes - These involve boiling peeled potatoes for about ten minutes and then taking them out. Place them in a pan and cook in the oven for half an hour. Make sure to add some herbs and a little butter.
- Chips - Buy a good bag of chips or else fry your own. Mmm...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I wish you all a wonderful St. Patrick's Day and enjoy the festivities! St.;atrick's Day is a great way to learn more about the interesting Irish culture and folklore. We are related to the Irish so we might as well celebrate. Have a great day!
© 2014 Susan W