This has been a whirlwind of holidays for the Irish, in the past ten days! International Women's Day, Mother's Day and now it's one of my favorite holidays... St. Patrick's Day! Woo-hoo!
And on top of it all "Ta an aimsir go halainn inniu!" (trans. Gaelic: the weather is gorgeous nice, today!) and life is good. (no I don't speak Gaelic, though I wish I did. I lifted it from a lovely website...)
This won't be a long post (I don't think... I just started writing it and I don't plan to write a long time, but then sometimes I surprise myself!)
First the holiday (bless Wikipedia):
Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a yearly holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Christian holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland's culture.
It is a public holiday on the island of Ireland; including Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Montserrat, among others.
Of course, before we came to Greece we celebrated in the United States. (Actually we also celebrated in Turkey, Denmark and France, when we lived in those places, just because we like to celebrate!)
Tonight we celebrate as well here in Greece, at the home of the Honorary Irish Consul, Mr. Spiros Lemis and his lovely wife Mary, here on Corfu. It will be a delightful evening and we both look forward to it!
One of the most startling shows of "Irishness" is in Chicago, though, where for one day of the year, the Chicago river, that runs through the heart of downtown, is turned GREEN. To celebrate almost all the bars sell green beer as well. (Can we say, in the nicest possible way, "over the top"??)
They use Fluorescein. It supposedly doesn't harm the fish or the river ecosystem.
We left just two days before Saint Patrick's Day (not a room to be found!) but I remember going to St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin and standing at the site near where Patrick probably baptized converts to Christianity. (I was quite surprised to read that Patrick was never canonized to Sainthood by a pope!)
Anyway, I thought I'd share my picture with you all. It made me feel quite peaceful standing there.
And on that happy note, I'll be done writing and say to all,
"Beannachtai na Feile Padraig -Siochan leat"
[Happy Saint Patrick's Day - Peace be with you.]