True Confessions of Carla: St. Patrick’s Day makes me anxious. I think this is a result of being pinched in elementary school when I forgot to wear green. It probably only happened once, but it was enough to create an emotional scar. Now, many years later, the possibility of an unwise wardrobe choice on St. Patrick’s Day actually weighs on my mind throughout the first part of March.
Despite this, I still love St. Patrick’s Day! Hopefully you do as well. In celebration, I thought I’d learn a little more about Ireland and share it here with you!. And, like the librarian I am, I used a library resource to do it.
The library subscribes to an awesome resource called Global Road Warrior. This database has amazing information about countries around the world. Global Road Warrior is perfect for anyone traveling to a foreign country and for anyone interested in learning more about the world. My sister actually uses it to introduce her children to a new country every month, which is great way to introduce the world to her family.
Anyway, using Global Road Warrior, I learned the following things about Ireland:
- Saint Patrick’s Day is the Ireland’s National Day and can last up to 5 days and include parades, festivals, plays, concerts, and fireworks.
- Ireland has almost 900 miles of coastline.
- The population of Ireland is 4,832,765.
- Irish public mail boxes are painted green.
- Ireland is rich with superstitions. Some great examples:
- Cutting the nails of a baby before he turns a year old will make him a kleptomaniac when he grows up.
- To cure tonsillitis, apply hot potatoes placed in a stocking on one’s throat.
- To get rid of warts, get some soil from underneath a pallbearer’s feet while attending a burial ceremony; put the soil on the wart; then make a wish that it will be gone soon.
- Killing a cricket will provoke its kind to destroy a person’s clothes.
- It is good luck to throw footwear on the way home from a party.
- Children walking backwards are believed to be cursing their parents.
- Traditional Irish cuisine is generally based on meat, cabbage, and potatoes or praties. (Global Road Warrior even has a few recipes including Soda Bread, Champ, and Coddle!)
- Banshee, galore, hooligan, shamrock and smithereens are all Irish words that have been “loaned” to the English language.
- And finally, here are some wise Irish proverbs with which I leave you:
- “A friend’s eye is a good mirror.”
- “It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.”
- “What butter and whiskey will not cure there is no cure for.”
- “Many a time a man’s mouth broke his nose.”