Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! This is one of those few days in the year where every American seems to discover their Irish roots, even if they don’t literally have any. Myself included. It’s morning as I type; in just a few hours, we’ll be hearing about the parades and (drunken) revelry across the nation.
But let’s step back for a moment, and remember that St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about green beer in the Chicago River, and calls of “Erin go Bragh” across the land. We’re celebrating, of course, the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, who rid the island of snakes. Well, when I went to Ireland, I didn’t see a single snake – although the serpents may have been taking refuge from all the rain. St. Patrick didn’t do anything about the weather!
It’s hard to say for sure whether St. Patrick really rid all of Ireland of every single snake, but the famous Irish ability to spin a great yarn about…well, anything, is also said to be traced to the Blarney Castle. Here’s a photo of the Blarney Castle (see the line of tourists at the top? We’re all waiting to do the same thing). Below it, you’ll see a photo of me, right after kissing the Blarney Stone. Ew, mossy and wet (the stone, that is)! It was well worth the 15-minute wait on line; I spent more time on line at Disney, for a ride that lasted around the same amount of time. And I wasn’t blessed with the gift of gab at Disney!
Saint Patrick’s Day parades have been annual events in the U.S. since around 1772. That’s a long time, relative to our nation’s independence and subsequent history. I know a lot of us will be out today, enjoying the parades. Celebrate safely, and perhaps you’ll have a story to tell the next day as well!