Saint Patrick’s Day [The Festival of Saint Patrick] is a cultural and religious holiday that has been officially observed on March the 17th here in the USA since 1919, when the large influx of Irish immigrants made Saint Patrick’s Day a widely celebrated day for the Irish as well as the Irish at heart. It is said that everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day.
The day is usually acknowledged by the attendance of church services, the lifting of Lenten restrictions [regarding food and alcohol], parades down the main streets of towns and of course the wearing of green attire. It is probably the most widely celebrated saints’ day in the world.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in Ireland as well as Newfoundland, Labrador and Montserrat!
On a personal note, my parents were wed on Saint Patrick’s Day back in 1963. My Italian dad said that he married a beautiful Irish girl on Saint Patrick’s Day for luck. The joke in our family was that he should have specified “GOOD” luck!
As you can imagine the day was always quite the occasion at our home, complete with Irish stew, soda bread and a small wedding cake to mark my parent’s anniversary. To this very day, I still make a fuss and enjoy reminiscing about the good times we had in years gone by.
Tonight James’ sister arrives from New York. I have a nice pot of Irish stout stew simmering on the stove and James has put up a yummy loaf of soda bread. Although here in the USA people like to have a meal of corned beef and cabbage as the official St. Patrick’s Day dinner, it is a meal that did develop in Ireland but is seldom eaten and almost never used to honor Saint Patrick’s Day. The dish that has the largest reputation as the “National Dish of Ireland,” is colcannon. This dish is basically mashed potatoes made with scallion infused milk, lots of butter, salt, pepper and a healthy dose of cooked kale mixed in. Its humble beginnings come from hard times but as is true with peasant foods world-wide, it is most delicious and comforting.
So erin go bragh and faith and bagua! No matter how you chose to celebrate the day I wish you Sláinte [health] love and laughter… and may the road rise up to greet you.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day one and all.
Until next time,