Friday, March 17, 2006

Beannachtam na Feile Padraig

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Many people will be eating Irish food, such as Irish Stew and Corned Beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. However, Corned Beef is not an Irish dish. It is what Americans think the Irish eat. A more traditional meal would be ham and cabbage or bacon and cabbage.

Some say that in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day the traditional green beer is prominent. However, in Ireland, many years ago, St. Patrick's Day was considered a holy day and Pubs were not open for business. There were no parades, no drinking or wearing green. Green was considered an unlucky color.

The importance of St. Patrick's Day in the U.S. can't be overstated. Even though it's Lent, so no meat allowed for Catholic's on Fridays, various Bishops are granting exceptions for St. Patrick's Day (including Philadelphia).

I'm not Irish, but I spent a lot of time during my younger years as an "adopted" member of an Irish family, so I was raised with traditional Irish music, stories and lore. Like any good Irish lass, I've been to Ireland. I've even been to Blarney Castle, although I wasn't able to get the "gift of gab." I'm afraid of heights, so I couldn't kiss the Blarney Stone, which was at the top of the Castle.

For another view of St. Patrick's Day, Landover Baptist Church, which provides a "True Christian Perspective" on the news, inquires "Does America Really Need Another Excuse for Catholics to Get Drunk?"

And, of course, I have to end with a few of my favorite Irish Toasts:

May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the insight to know where you are
and the foresight to know when you're going too far.

Here's to those who wish us well,
as for the rest, they can go to Hell!

In Heaven there is no beer, that is why we drink it here.

Here's to the memory of Matt McCauley, my "adopted" Irish father. Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!

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