Many of us grew up hearing of St. Patrick’s Day, donned something green just because, and have perhaps received (or given) a few pinches. Here is the short history behind this special day and its traditions, as well as a different take on observing them at home. That includes listening to a few audio classics and enjoying a healthy treat (green, of course) to help make this day unique and memorable.
St. Patrick’s Day was originally a Roman Catholic day of feast for the patron saint of Ireland.
In the 1700s, Irish immigrants in New York started parades, not so much to celebrate the saint but to protest their low social status in America. St. Patrick’s Day has since turned into quite the spectacle, including a pinch of superstition—wearing something green.
Why green? Because Ireland is called “The Emerald Isle,” because the Irish flag has a green stripe representing the Irish Catholics, and because St. Patrick supposedly used the (green) shamrock in his teachings.
But beyond patriotism and adopting green as a national color, legend has it that wearing green will make you invisible to leprechauns (Irish fairy folk who wear buckled top hats and guard treasure). If you don’t wear green, a leprechaun is likely to pinch you. Thus the tradition to pinch anyone not wearing green to remind us that folklore creatures and mythical figures still exist.
But who says the leprechauns will only stay away if you wear something green. What if you were to experience green through your sensory abilities—visual, auditory, smell, taste, and touch. Wouldn’t that prevent the mischievous creatures from pinching you?
Well, we would like to think so.
And considering that, today, any parade or celebration will most likely take place inside your humble abode, here is how you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in all its green glory at home:
1. Smell something green.
Try the smell of freshly cut grass. Or is there any smell greener than the Bells of Ireland? (Maybe, grow your own….)
2. Taste something green.
By all means partake in the traditional Irish meal, drink your ale, eat your bacon, and devour your cabbage. But save room for this Irish Avocado Pistachio Tart inspired by L. Ron Hubbard’s fiction western, Six-Gun Caballero. Not exactly a traditional tart, but it is green, and it is genuinely out-of-this-world delicious. If you would like to make this dessert, download the recipe here.
3. Listen to something evergreen—from or about Ireland and its people.
In this case, audio classics. These are short, punchy cinematic three-dimensional audiobooks performed by a full cast with cinematic sound effects and original musical scores—some of the best audiobooks available.
In 1935, L. Ron Hubbard lived in New York among Irish immigrants or people of Irish descent. Irish characters, in turn, became part of several adventure stories published in the “pulp” magazines, so named for their rough-cut pulpwood paper. These stories reflect a time of simpler virtues, clearer values, great humor, and an irresistible Irish pride that make the sometimes unlikely hero very likable.
Here are several uplifting stories centered around Irish characters.
He’s handsome. He’s charming. He’s a total gentleman … and he’s totally outgunned and outnumbered. He’s Michael Patrick Obañon (O’Bannon).
Story Excerpt: “Michael Patrick Obañon was a handsome fellow. He had a graceful air about him and when he spoke he made poetry with his long-fingered hands. His voice was controlled and gentle and his glance was friendly and frank. For all the world he appeared not Irish but a Castilian gentleman from the court at Madrid.”
Bill Murphy’s more than a match for everything the oil business can throw at him. Everything except for Marcia Stewart, who is convinced he killed her father. Murphy’s drilling down for the truth, and it’s his land, his love for Marcia—and his life—that are on the line.
Story Excerpt: “Bill slid quietly out of the truck, threw off the safety catch of his rifle, inspected his revolver and walked off the road into the thick brush.
“Bill had an idea, and, being Irish, when he got an idea nothing short of sudden death could shake it out of him.”
Running off to join the French Foreign Legion used to be every boy’s dream of action and adventure. But for Lieutenant Bill Reilly—half Irish, half American—the dream has turned into a nightmare. And it all begins with the gruesome delivery of a severed hand.
Story Excerpt: “They tell you that the gentlemen of Ireland fought superbly and gallantly for France through scores of years. The first deReilly had been, of course, O’Reilly, but the name had shifted. The women of the family had all come from Ireland, except Reilly’s mother. She was an American.”
Mike Malloy enlisted in the French Foreign Legion only to get himself thrown into a Moroccan military jail for trying to swab a deck with a general’s aide. To get out of prison and clear his name, Malloy undertakes a suicide mission: to fly deep into enemy territory and find an alchemist’s book missing for 800 years, a discovery that may determine the destiny of a nation.
Story Excerpt: “‘You are Irish, aren’t you—without any dilution!’
“‘You’re wrong there. I’ve got some French in me too. Ever hear of the Irish Guard?’
“‘Why, yes! They were formed in Napoleon’s time. They were his bodyguard.’”
Mike de Wolf is in for the shock of his life, finding himself transformed into the embattled main character in a novel being written by his friend, Horace Hackett. Transported back in time, from the West Village to the West Indies, he is embroiled in a desperate battle fighting for his life as the notorious Miguel de Lobo in the Spanish Main of 1640.
Story Excerpt: “Horace was stuck for only an instant. There was Mike, sitting at the piano, playing dolorously. There was no gauging what Mike de Wolf’s ancestry really was, but it was certain that the Irish side of his family had been enjoined by one of the dons who, defeated in the Armada, were flung up on the coast of Erin to give the Irish race occasional black hair and dark eyes.”
4. Touch something green.
The color green represents new beginnings, abundance, and nature. Go to any green houseplant or get a shamrock plant for the occasion and let your tactile senses take over. On this St. Patrick’s Day, it is sure to keep the little critters away.
5. Watch something green from the heart of Ireland to the Irish at heart.
Check out the breathtaking images from the Emerald Island accompanied by a St. Patrick Day’s poem here:
If you have any other suggestions to keep the leprechauns away on St. Patrick’s Day, we would love to hear about them! Write your comments below.
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