In a world where individuality and the desire to stand out is often expressed through unusual attire and outrageous behavior, sometimes it still feels good to belong. Being a part of a group can create a sense of camaraderie that elevates any experience. No time is that desire to be a part of a particular group more apparent than on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not a complete experience if you don’t adapt the best of the culture and become Irish, even if just for one day.
What’s With All The Green
So why is it people like to walk around in “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirts no matter their true heritage? Does it have anything to do with the supposed “luck” that belongs to the Irish? More likely it’s just an excuse to celebrate with good local food and drink, hear festive music, and wear green. Why not make it more of a complete experience and really get acquainted with the Irish? Explore the best of their culture, taste the foods, learn the history, and actually feel Irish when St. Patty’s Day rolls around.
To get you started – St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast for the patron saint of Ireland but has evolved into a day for the authentic Irish as well as all the wannabes to join in a celebration of the Emerald Isle. The name “Emerald Isle” refers to the lovely rolling green hills and vales of Ireland and was first used in a poem by William Drennan – a poet, physician, and political activist from the mid 17th century.
Learning about other countries and cultures is like taking a trip to another land. The more you absorb, the more it feels as though you’re a traveler to that place – tasting the local food and drink, wandering the streets, and interacting with people of that land. I have Ireland on my list of the many places I’d like to see one day. I can imagine being transported through time as I walk cobblestone streets and climb winding castle stairs. The Blarney Stone, Cliffs of Moher, a taste of Colcannon, and some Irish Stew – it all calls to me.
But until that day I will have to be satisfied with experiencing the best of the culture here. On March 17th, I will seek out a spot at a local Irish pub where I will eat corned beef and cabbage, bands will play outdoors, and people will dance. Adults will get, pardon the Irish slang, “fluthered” on Guinness. For the complete experience I will wear my green and pretend, just for the day, that I know well the land of the leprechauns.
So even if you haven’t visited the land of Oscar Wilde, Michael Collins, and C.S. Lewis, walked through St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or driven the Ring of Kerry, there’s at least one day of the year you may be lucky enough to feel Celtic. Discover the Irish cultural spots in your town – who knows, you may even find a pot of gold that will help you treasure your world on St. Patty’s Day and beyond!