Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! The day that everyone and their dog is Irish, not wearing green will get you pinched and green beer is a must (or 7-Up as I had one year during my exams, as pictured above on the right). Paddy’s Day is a lot more than just Paddywhackery, both religiously and culturally, at least here in Ireland. It celebrates our patron saint and how he helped spread Christianity. I think it’s far more important though to celebrate our culture and heritage today. It’s never been about drink to me (I’ve never had any alcohol on Paddy’s Day! And today won’t be any different I suspect). It’s been about spending the day with my family, going to the local parade (which is more tractor and trailers than big fancy floats!). It’s about being proud to be who are and how far we’ve come as a small country. Small but mighty! Times have been tough here lately, there’s no debating that. But there is still loads to be proud about. So I got thinking about what I love about being Irish!
1. The accents. For a country this small we sure have a wide and diverse array of accents!
2. Hurling. The clash of the ash! How unique is it?! Lightening fast and often bordering on vicious, a good game is gripping and thrilling. Of course, I love it mostly when fights break out on the pitch!
3. Speaking of hurling, do you know how to spot an Irish person abroad? Look for their GAA jersey! I was shocked the first time I saw some guys wearing them on the beach in Spain!
4. Our culinary ‘delights’. Mainly Cheese and Onion Tayto, hang sangwiches, brown bread, Irish fry (or breakfast roll!), TK Red Lemonade and cup of tae (which I still haven’t tried. Yes, I know, I should really hand in my passport).
5. The comedy. The hilarious Dara O Briain (come back to us!), Colin Murphy, Des Bishop, Tommy Tiernan, Andrew Maxwell, I could go on and on. You may not like one or two of them but there is someone for everyone’s comedy tastes! And Father Ted. Need I say more?! I also love Graham Linehan’s The IT Crowd, starring Chris O Dowd (and I suppose I should mention Black Books with Dylan Moran!).
6. The music. I could go on about the usual U2, The Corrs, The Dubliners etc but there’s loads more talent out there (not that the ones I mentioned aren’t talented!). My favourite Irish artist at the moment is Imelda May, I love her rockabilly vibe. And The Rubberbandits, who are just so funny. Also, how about pieces of music that are so Irish but aren’t really songs. Like the tune to The Sunday Game?!
Or the Glenroe theme?
I remember Irish dancing around the sitting room Sunday nights to that! You always knew it was time for bed once it ended. The less said about Crystal Swing and Richie Kavanagh, the better!
7. The language. I’m not fluent in it and really wish I was it. There’s no denying it’s beautiful. And I just love Hairy Baby clothing, mixing the language and humour together! I have this hoodie.
8. The towns, the villages, the historical sites and the scenery. Ireland is just so beautiful and last year I had a great time exploring new places. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to try again this year, like I did last year.
9. Swimming in the rain because it’s warm, whippy ice creams, how being called a bollix can actually be affectionate, lockins, using jumpers as goal posts as children, First Communion, The Debs. So many things that are small but are so Irish in some ways.
10. The people. I truly believe we are some of the friendliest people in the world. It can be a pain when you live in a small community and everyone knows your business before you do but if you’re lucky you’ll live in a close community. We’re not called the Land of a Thousand Welcomes for nothing! We sure know how to have the craic.
I’m sure there are millions of other things I could list but I decided to stop there. I hope you enjoy your day, where are you are in the world and whether or not you are celebrating. Just as long as you’re not calling it St. Patty’s Day!!