In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, today’s post is written by Cathy Jo Smith–co-chair of the Storytellers of Central Ohio, a member of the Dublin (OH) Irish Festival Cultural Committee since 2001 and mourner-in-chief of the Irish Wake Tent at the festival since 2000. —
They say the whole world is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s only fair–since Patrick, himself, wasn’t Irish either. He was the son of a Roman magistrate living somewhere along the British coast (let the historians fight over exactly where). He was kidnapped into Ireland as a slave. He did manage to escape and return home, but (like so many of us) he’d fallen in love with the Irish land and its people. So, he returned to spend the rest of his life bringing his faith and love to the Emerald Isle. He is credited with doing many good things, but he did NOT drive snakes out of Ireland. There were never snakes in Ireland to begin with–nor toads or lizards.
St. Patrick’s Day is a good time to add a little Irish to your language. Here are a couple of phrases that might come in handy.
- You can wish someone Beannachtaí na Féile Pádriaig (ban-AWK-tee nah FAY-luh PAWD-rig): “Blessings of the feast of Patrick.” Or just wish them, Árd na nÉireannach (ahrd nah NAIR-in-ach): “the luck of the Irish.” After all, if you’re Irish, you’re lucky enough!
- A favorite Irish toast is Sláinte, which literally means “health!” Another option would be to say, Sláinte is táinte (Slawn-sha iz TAWN-sha): “to health AND wealth!”
I’ll leave you with an Irish blessing … ”May you be poor in misfortunes, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends!” Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Dublin, Ohio!