Kiss me I’m Irish

By Kelly McKee
March 11, 2005

Fellow Irish once again our day has come to show all others how to celebrate their heritage in style. On Thursday March 17, a.k.a. St. Patrick’s Day, a.k.a. the best day of the year, we shall put on our finest green, feast on potatoes and Guinness and prove why it’s best to be Irish.

This year you are lucky to have a fresh of the boat paddy to guide you in your celebrations, myself. If you are not lucky enough to be Irish, this is the one day of the year you can be, so no excuses from you Italians. Lets start at the beginning, according to Julie Andrews, a very good place to start. This Patrick guy, who was he and what makes him so saintly?

Basically Patrick, Paddy to friends, was a bishop in Ireland around 1600 years ago. Patrick believed strongly in his faith and spent his years trying to convert Pagans to Christianity, traveling throughout the country building schools, monasteries and churches. He died on March 17, A.D. 461 in County Down, Northern Ireland and lies there to this day in a town, imaginatively named Downpatrick. Okay, so that’s basically the history.

What about the snakes I hear you ask; the legend is he chased all the snakes out of Ireland, isn’t it? Well when Paddy chased out the snakes what they don’t tell you is that he was the only one that saw any. I’m sorry to burst that bubble but snakes never were, and to this day are not, native to the Island. Some people think that chasing the snakes out was a metaphor for chasing out the non-Christians, i.e. the Pagans. So there you have it. And now you know who he was, you can now advance to part two of the lesson; how to celebrate like the Irish.

Preparations for the big day must begin a few days in advance to make sure you have all apparel and accessories needed. The first requirement is green clothing. Green, the color of Ireland, represents good luck, the green, green grass of home and the color of natives every morning before their next drink. On this green theme, a shamrock is also an important piece of St Patrick’s Day apparel. The three leaved Shamrock, or clover, represents Irelands lucky number. All good things come in threes, the father, son and holy ghost, faith, hope and charity, corned beef, cabbage and potatoes and of course Jameson, Guinness and Baileys.

If you’re Irish you must know the legends of the leprechauns. These Irish fairies are said to have been placed as watchmen over pots of gold, hidden in the Irish valleys. Unfriendly creatures, they like to live alone and are legendary shoemakers. Spotted most frequently after several pints of Guinness, these fairies are not to be messed with and chasing them often results in painful stumbling.

Back to the big day, there are many ways to choose to celebrate. Did you know that there are more Americans of Irish descent than actual Irish? This being the case it’s fitting that celebrations here are wide and varied. To kick off the festivities, on Sunday, March 13 the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade takes place in Center City, Philadelphia. Now in its 52nd year the Philadelphia parade is the third largest in the country and kicks off at noon from Broad Street and Washington Avenue.

Hundreds of dancers, singers and comedians bring the Irish cheer to the city in a way only they can. On the big day itself there are numerous Irish bars in the area offering specials and entertainment to jig the night away. Finnegan’s wake in the city is a popular choice but for those wanting to stay a little closer to home, Brownies 23 East, Ardmore, opens its doors at 7 a.m. for a day of revelry headlined by Irish rockers, Blackthorn, that evening.

Whatever you choose to do that day, keep it green and keep it safe. Greet all with a “top of the morning to you,” share many a “slainte” with your friends and ask that special someone to “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” And remember if you are lucky enough to be Irish, you are lucky enough. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted to the web by Chris Gentile

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kelly McKee

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap