Being of Irish Heritage, I have always observed the American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
On a few points of common confusion that seem to come up surrounding the holiday, I would like to clarify:
Yes, I know that corned beef and cabbage is not a traditional Irish meal, the real Irish meal is ham and cabbage, but it is an American Irish tradition since that was a common meal that the immigrants ate when they came over from Ireland. They couldn’t afford the ham from the Kosher butcher (not throwing stones, just sayin’), so they made do with corned beef. It’s not authentically Irish, but it’s a part of the heritage so I still consider it a good way to celebrate since the whole holiday is an American convention anyway.
No, no one through excrement at me through a screen door, these are freckles and I love them. It’s been said that a face without freckles is like a night without stars.
Yes, we are stubborn, but that stems from our passion. Passion for Ireland, our families, and our beliefs. As Sidney Littlewood said, “The Irish don’t know what they want and are prepared to fight to the death to get it.”
And to clarify one more point on why we wear green, here’s a note from Wikipedia:
Originally the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. However, over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. Then in the 1798 rebellion in hopes of making a political statement Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching attention with their unusual fashion gimmick. The phrase “the wearing of the green”, meaning to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing, derives from the song of the same name.
So while I will not be out in NYC today, I am wearing the green and eating soda bread and drinking tea, which I will replace with either Guinness or Smithwicks later because Is d’Eirinn me (I am of Ireland).