A blog about writing and all things story…
When did it all start? 18th century Irish soldiers who battled in the Revolutionary War held the first St. Patrick Day parades. The festivities became a way for the Irish to bond with their roots after they immigrated to America.
Green Rivers: Dyeing the river green started in 1962 Chicago, when city officials decided to dye the Chicago River green. Gotta wonder how many beers they drank before someone shouted,“Hey! I got a great idea.”
Corn beef & cabbage: This is an Irish American plate. Irish Americans were so poor that on St. Patrick’s Day the best meal they could afford was beef and cabbage. It became a fundamental dish on the holiday. I’ll be making my Irish grandma’s recipe for my family next week. Yum!
The shamrock: Legend says that St. Patrick used the shamrock (three leaf clover) to explain the Trinity.
Meager beginnings: Patrick was born in Roman Britain, and was later kidnapped into slavery and then brought to Ireland. After escaping, and converting to Catholicism, Patrick returned to Ireland in 432 as an evangelist.
When I visited Ireland on a one month writer’s residence in 2000, a local priest in a fishing village explained to me that Saint Patrick confronted the Druids at Tara (which is my daughter’s name) and eradicated their pagan rites, making Christianity more prevalent. He told me that’s how the Celtic crosses were born. One popular fable is that St. Patrick united the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross to give pagan worshipers an idea of the significance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life giving properties of the sun.
Oh yeah . . . And if you love a heavy drinking Irish priest (Imagine that!) on a mission to redeem the unredeemable, often through vigilante means, check out my novel, Return To Sender–a literary thriller about an ex-war-hero turned IRISH Catholic Priest, and a religious fanatic serial killer colliding with destiny–for some great Saint Patrick’s Day reading.
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By Miri Elm
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(re)Living History, with occasional attempts at humor and the rare pot-luck subject. Sorry, it's BYOB. All I have is Hamm's.
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