Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I had someone tell me today, “Erin Go Bragh”! I have heard this saying and have read it many times however, was not really sure what it meant. So, I googled it. According to the all knowing wikipedia, it means “Ireland forever” or “until the end of time”. It appears Ireland shall stand til the end of time. (stained glass pics from wikipedia)
Once upon a time, Ireland was ransacked by England, Vikings and others who wanted to control the vast beauty and resources. The story of Ireland has been rich in struggle. Whether it pertained to famine, religion, land, or other worldly desires, Ireland and its inhabitants have been the subject of much persecution and struggle.
Thankfully, the Irish and their descendants have been a hearty, resilient group of people who overcome.
Traditional Irish dance has become even more popular, in its own right and with exposure to performing dance troupes such as Lord of The Dance and Riverdance.
Irish music is often known in a folk sense, with a tin whistle and violin, or sung in pubs and bars in a raucously joyous imbibement, yet rock bands such as Van Morrison, U2, and Rory Gallagher have demonstrated to the world the varied tones and feelings that have transcended the millennia.
In the mid to late 1990s, Ireland began to financially prosper with travel and tourism, lower business tax brought pharmaceutical and computer/internet companies to the Island nation. In the late 1990s, the internet began to take off as we know and use it today. Ireland helped lead that charge.
Today is known around the world as Saint Patrick’s Day. It is often showered with people purposefully placing, at a minimum, a speck of green so as to avoid the ensuing pinch by friends. Occasionally, the color orange is added to demonstrate one’s loyalty to protestant faith and in William of Orange. The struggle continues in differences in professing faith.
There was a time, a man roamed the Island named Patrick. He was born in Scotland, was kidnapped and taken to Ireland. He prayed often whilst held by his captors, living among the pagans and Druids. He became a priest then later a bishop. He spent the rest of his life spreading Christianity and demonstrated the Holy Trinity through the three leaves of a clover.
When in Cashel, I stopped at the historic landmark of The Rock of Cashel (my own photos will be added) where it was said that Patrick was sharing Christianity with the locals. The locals were fearful as they thought they had to endure the same fate as their king standing before them with Patrick. It was reported that as Patrick spoke, he inadvertently planted his staff into the foot of the king as he spoke. Many thought to convert, they too would have to have the staff thrust into their feet. An interesting story and tale, though I have never seen this in writing anywhere to validate it, though I like it the same.
Green or Orange? Regardless of one’s political or religious views, despite where one lives, there are plenty of things that divide all of us. Patrick professed Christianity and demonstrated love and peace. St. Patrick can and should be shared by all. If you feel you should wear a color to celebrate the day, choose blue. Blue was the color of St. Patrick. However, if you happen to see green or orange this St. Patrick’s Day, shake hands, enjoy a pint together, drown a shamrock, laugh, and maybe even pray together.
Ireland is a beautiful, colorful, vibrant country and the people are even more so. Add it to your bucket list of places to go and to experience.
Make It Fun!
http://www.cashel.ie/tourism.php?sect=Town%20Trail (Photo of Cross borrowed from this site).