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Expat wanderer

St. Patrick’s Day Coming March 17

St. Patrick’s Day is coming – tomorrow – March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day is not, as it would sound, a particularly religious holiday. While it is a huge celebration, in the United States it is more about being Irish than it is about St. Patrick. Most of the Irish, when they came to America, had about as much status as the Bangladeshis in Kuwait – they were at the bottom of the social heap. It was a long long struggle to achieve respectability; even longer to be free of the prejudices against them.

The Irish celebrated the election of John F. Kennedy the same way the African Americans celebrated the election of Barak Obama – it was the ultimate sign of being part of a united America, full citizenship – “one of us” could be President.

Here are previous posts I have written telling more about St. Patrick, and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations:

Who is St. Patrick?

St. Patrick and the Wearing of the Green

We visited Ireland several years ago, a visit AdventureMan recounts with relish. I made all the arrangements, bed and breakfasts, travel plans, etc. and AdventureMan was uncommonly unenthusiastic. Once we got there, I understood why. Being THE MAN, when we are in the car together, most of the time, he drives. Arriving in Ireland, you have to drive on the “other” side of the road (I did not say the “wrong” side!) Many roads in Ireland are narrow. Cool calm AdventureMan had met his match. He HATED driving in Ireland.

The part of the trip I loved the most was going to Cashel, one of the St. Patrick sights in Ireland:

newhomebanner

It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The weather was glorious, warm and sunny without being too hot.

From Cashel, Ireland, website:

Cashel has a very ancient history, albeit only documented since the 4th Century. The Rock of Cashel, with its well preserved ecclesiastical remains, is one of Ireland’s most spectacular landmarks, rising above the surrounding plain and dominating the land route southward.The large Cathedral, ancient round tower and the very early Romanesque Cormac’s Chapel , perched on a dramatic outcrop of rock, were silent witnesses to many of the stirring events of Irish History; St.Patrick converted the local King Aenghus, here in the 5th century; Brian Boru was crowned King of Ireland on this spot in the early 11th Century. The Vicar’s Choral has been restored and the site, one of the most visited in Ireland, now provides an interpretative centre, (multi lingual) an interesting museum, guided tours and superb views over the extensive and beautiful plains of Tipperary.

We were visiting in Mid-July. It rained a lot, but the day we drove to Cashel was gorgeous. Even on the rainy days, there were periods of blue sky and sunshine, and the air was crystal clear and sweet. I guess the rain is the reason Ireland is so green, so piercingly beautifully green. I would go again in a heartbeat, but I think this time we would hire a driver!

rock

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March 15, 2009 - Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Holiday, Ireland, Travel

6 Comments »

  1. and lets no forget the great hats and green beer !

    Comment by KTDP | March 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. Corned Beef!!! tomorrow is the 16th by the way, unless my calender is wrong. 😉

    Comment by Q8Dutchie | March 15, 2009 | Reply

  3. Looks like the picture titled “newhomebanner” has overshot your blog width limit.
    I’ve never seen St. Patrick’s day celebrations but my friend who studies in Dublin said its when they all get sloshed and sing “when Irish eyes are smiling” 😀

    Comment by Mathai | March 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. LOL, KTDP, I wish!

    Q8Dutchie – You caught me. I am often a day ahead in my mind; and I get confused. I’m a heavy forward planner, and it takes its toll! I just wish I had a little Irish whiskey to toss in the stew, or a little Guinness!

    Yep, Mathai, but I really loved that place, Cashel, and I thought the over-width banner captured the peaceful grandeur of the place, so I let it. You’ll see me do that every now and then. In Ireland, they also sing revolutionary songs like Kevin Barry, etc.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 16, 2009 | Reply

  5. Kennedy was irish?!?!??!?

    i do not get it? Why were the irish at the bottom of the social ladder? They are not much different from the scots or the english?! Why them of all europeans out there???

    Comment by Daddy's Girl | March 16, 2009 | Reply

  6. LLOOLL, Daddy’s Girl, Kennedy is as Irish as you get!

    The majority of the Irish came, starving, to America when their main food staple, potato, got the blight. Thousands and thousands starved to death. Those who were able to get to America took any job they could get, and worked hard, but they also carried a lot of the old world feuds with them, and had a reputation for being crooks and liars, belligerant, drunks, the usual things you say about an underclass.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 16, 2009 | Reply


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