St. Paddy’s Day can mean different things for different people. Some simply think of it as the day the world celebrates to drink alcohol, wear green, and declare Irish pride, and that would be true for many, but others feel a stronger connection to this magical holiday. Take me, for example.
I’m not from Ireland, but I have a very Irish name. My mother cooked the traditional Irish dish of corned beef and cabbage quite regularly. Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew (with the whiskey in the broth!) are among my favorite dishes in the entire world.
When I was eight, I sat on the edge of a stage at a local Céilí, an Irish group dance. I could feel the vibrations of Irish dancers uniformly moving their feet to Celtic music and it mesmerized me.
A week later, I was enrolled in an Irish dancing school and Irish culture became an even bigger part of my life.
An adopted grandmother, of sorts, who took care of me and my brothers, also loved Irish culture. She often told us, “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough.” She gave us one movie called The Magical Legend of Leprechauns, a leprechaun version of Romeo and Juliet, and another film called St. Patrick: The Irish Legend, where Patrick is quite the rebel bad boy walking around with the capital gOD at his back.
Growing up with this culture constantly present in my life gave, and gives me great joy to be of Irish descent, and each year, the hype of St. Patrick’s Day amplifies this pride.
I wear green every March 17th and I pinch those who don’t. I go for drinks in pubs; and I sing The Wild Rover at the top of my lungs.
One day though, my beautifully green world came crashing down.
My father told me blue, not green, is the authentic color of St. Patrick, and Ireland for that matter. I refused to believe him; thought he was off his rocker! Ireland’s called the Emerald Isle, after all. Not surprisingly though, my father was right… but only in a way.
This led me down the rabbit hole, to find out just what’s what when it comes to St. Paddy’s Day!