Monday, March 10, 2008

Follow the ways of your ancestors...

This title is an old Irish proverb and very valued in the Irish community. I have traced my father's family back to Wales, but I understand that there is a strong connection with Ireland. I've yet to uncover proof of that, but I know from my own freckles and BG (before gray) auburn highlighted hair, it must be true. One of my sons is a redhead and so are all of my cousins on my Dad's side.

Do any of your relatives come from Ireland? This would come as no surprise as over 40 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. On March 17th, that number increases considerably when we all celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

The earliest recorded American observance of the day honoring St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was in Boston in 1737. But, the Irish as an ethnic group did not begin to make their presence felt in America until their numbers began to swell during the Nineteenth century.

St. Patrick’s Day became the day the new immigrants remembered their strong ties to the “auld sod” with parades and banquets. By the turn of the century, the celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day had become a distinctly American custom, with everyone, no matter what his nationality, wearing a bit of the green.

Curiously, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland has evolved into a high-spirited holiday only in the past thirty years. Since the day was (and still is) a Holy day, people attended a Mass and all the pubs were closed. An authentic St Patrick’s Day observance with music, dance, food and liquid refreshment had to take place at home.

A ceilidh (Gaelic for “dance” and pronounced kali) is a gathering of family and friends to hear traditional Irish music, do a bit of step dancing, eat thick slices of soda bread slathered with butter, drink cups of strong tea or other liquid refreshments and engage in the Irish indoor sport of conversation.

But at the heart of any ceilidh is the Irish music, of which there are two distinct types: energetic dance tunes or lamentful narrative songs, usually ballads. In Irish reels, the main melody is repeated over and over again until it leads into another similar tune. The listener, who is unfamiliar with its unique circular structure, frequently comes away with the impression that he has been tapping his feet to one long Irish jig for over two hours.

Excerpts taken from writings by Sara Ban Breathnach



shirl said...

Very cute Bertie! My friends that are coming to visit are Irish, I'll have to show this to them.
Shirls Rose Cottage

vickie said...

Love all the Irish info, Bertie.

Stephanie said...

Wonderful graphics, as always, Bertie, & interesting tidbits. I always look forward to your new posts!

Big Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Sharon said...

Bertie you always have the most interesting information to share with everyone. I'm celebrating Green on my blog also.

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Hi Bertie! Thank you so much for all of this wonderful information! I am part Irish. I would love to visit there, it looks so beautiful. I love celtic music and clannad rings!

Love ya,

Miss Rhea said...

Interesting stuff and pretty images. :) St Patrick's day is a special day for me as it was my Grandmothers Birthday. :)

celestina marie said...

Hi Bertie, "top of the mornin to ya" Loved your article on the Irish Holy Day of St. Patrick's Day! Always, iformative notes from you! I might also add that St. Patrick brought the teachings of the Trinity. The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
Happy St.Patrick's Day!

La Rea Rose

Wonderfully Sew Knit said...

Wonderful bit of history there...thank for sharing it. My grandmother always went to Mass on the 17th and then she'd cook a big dinner...there was always it.

Connie said...

Hi Miss Bertie! I did clean up with all those "surprises"!! What a treat. I order the roses from Lori and from Rhea I ordered the little birds and the cloche. I am blessed by you ladies!! Happy easter, lady, and love reading your blog. You are just so interesting besides being a beauty and sooooo talented!! :-x

Charlotte said...

I was always told that I was Irish and German. Seems like everyone is a little bit Irish.
Have a great day!