Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day- a time when the world over people celebrate Ireland or green or something…
I’m American but my husband is Irish and I’ve lived in Ireland for seven years now. Here’s a few inside secrets.
1) The whole pinching someone who doesn’t wear green thing is not Irish. People don’t do that here.
2) Then do people wear green? Some do. Some wear a combination of green, orange and white, which are the colors of the flag. Green is for Ireland’s tradition, the Catholic side. Orange is for the Protestants, as in William of Orange. And white is for the peace between them. Some wear regular clothes.
|St. Patrick’s Blue|
3) So the official color of Ireland is green, right? Nope. It’s blue. In fact it’s called Saint Patrick’s Blue.
4) But Saint Patrick, he was Irish, right? Not exactly. Saint Patrick was a Roman Britain, who was captured into slavery and brought to Ireland. Later, he returned to Ireland to spread Christianity. March 17th is the date of his death and many people go to church or mass on Saint Patrick’s day morning to commemorate this. Later, many towns have their own parades and there is a large one held in Dublin each year.
5) Does everyone have red hair? Red hair is actually not that common, especially on the east coast. Waves of settlers: Vikings, Norman and English invaded Ireland and pushed the native Irish farther west. The Viking influence can be seen in the blond of Dublin, while the west is where you will find the greatest number of redheads and Irish (Gaelic) speakers. Both Irish and English are official languages of Ireland and everyone learns Irish in school, but only approximately 7% of the population speaks Irish fluently.
Many other cultures are also making Ireland their home. Ireland is deeply rooted in tradition, but it’s also a place of opportunity and multiculturalism. In fact, I’ll be having my town’s once yearly Indian buffet at the local Indian restaurant in honor of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, before watching my town’s parade.
6) The longest female presidency in the world was held by Ireland- Mary Robinson and then Mary McAleese served from 1990 until 2011. They were the 7th and 8th presidents of Ireland. Considering, Ireland is only currently on their 9th president, that makes the female presidency record even more impressive. Women’s rights is nothing modern in Ireland though. The Brehen laws (that ruled Medieval Ireland) are famous for their near equal status that women enjoyed under the law.
7) Yes, it really is as beautiful as the postcards and it really is that green. There’s a good reason- we get a lot of rain. And it’s cold here, very cold, often. In 7 years, I’ve had two days that made it past 75 degrees F. Temperatures tend to be much cooler, and even in the summer the 50s and 60s are normal. In fact, the Romans never made it to Ireland. Perhaps it was because they named it Hibernia: Land of Winter.
Here are a few of my photos of lovely Ireland, a place that I call home.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
My best to you all,