Claddagh jewelry is part of a tradition that started in Ireland just over 300 years ago. The Claddagh ring has three components to it: the hands that circle the ring holding the heart, the heart shape at the center front of the ring, and the crown that sits atop the heart. The hands represent friendship and being together. The heart is the universal symbol of love and hope. The crown in the design represents loyalty. These three things togetther are very powerful. [Read more…]
May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go and guide you in whatever you do –
And may his loving protection be a blessing to you always.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Photo credit: pixaby
This holiday is all about celebrating and here a few St. Patrick’s Day fun facts you can share with your friends and family.
- Saint Patrick was born in England not Ireland
- St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD.
- The oldest Irish Brewery still in existence is the Guinness Brewery in Dublin from 1759. Some of the oldest breweries have been around for over 1,000 years. Irish beer is popular all year not just on St. Patricks Day, and many towns have popular Irish Pubs, the oldest is McSorley’s Ale House established in 1854.
- The original color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day during the 19th century.
- Green, in Irish legends were worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow. The national color of Ireland is green
- The most famous legend regarding St. Patrick is that he rid Ireland of snakes by ringing his bell from the top of Croagh Patrick, the 2500 feet tall, conical mountain near Westport. Of course this isn’t a true fact, but makes for an amusing anecdote. The mountain however has become a place of annual pilgrimage. There is an ancient church at the top and at the base a natural spring well known as Patrick’s well or Tobair Padraig – St. Patrick supposedly baptized the first Irish converts at this well.
- Saint Patrick did not actually drive the snakes out of Ireland, the snakes represent the pagans that he converted to Christianity.
- Saint Patrick used the shamrock to teach converted Christians about the holy trinity.
- In 1903 James O’Mara, a member of the Irish parliament, had a new law passed that recognized that St. Patrick’s Day was a religious holiday and because of this all pubs were closed for the next 67 years when the law was overturned and the holiday was no longer a religious observance.
- The city with the largest population of Americans of Irish descent is Boston (23%)
- Over 8 million St. Patrick’s Day cards are exchanged in America making today the ninth-largest card selling occasion in the US.
- The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1737.
- 36 million The number of U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself (slightly more than 4 million). Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German.
- Some American towns have “Irish” names. You could visit: Mount Gay-Shamrock, West Virginia; Shamrock Lakes, Indiana; Shamrock, Oklahoma; Shamrock, Texas; Dublin, California and Dublin, Ohio.
- Today New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the longest running civilian parade in the world. This year nearly three million spectators are expected to watch the spectacle and some150,000 participants plan to march.
- Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is little more than 75 years old
- More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States; New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.
- Chicago is famous for a somewhat peculiar annual event: dyeing the Chicago River green. The tradition started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river— enough to keep it green for a week!
- In 1948, President Truman attended New York City ‘s St. Patrick’s Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in America.
- When General George Washington’s troops seized Boston from the British on March 17, 1776, the word “Boston” was used as the password and “St. Patrick” as the reply.
- Traditional Irish greeting on St. Patrick’s Day: “Beannacht na feile Padrig oraibh,” which means “May the blessings of St. Patrick be with you.”
- An Irish toast: “May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.
- Finding a four-leaf clover. Each leaf on the clover represents something: hope, faith, love and luck. Throughout history four-leaf clovers have been thought to bring luck, mostly because they are so rare, as there are no clover plants that naturally produce four leaves.
- Leprechauns are little old men who make shoes for fairies. They are about two feet tall and very mischievous. Legend has it that you can find a leprechaun by listening for his hammer, as they are always hard at work. If you catch one, you are entitled to his pot of gold. However, they’re very quick, and if you take your eyes off of them for a split second they will disappear with their treasure.
- What do you call the stick leprechauns carry? Shillelagh. The leprechauns use the shillelagh to gain access to their rainbow. The stick is crooked and made of wood.
- What type of tree do leprechauns supposedly live in? Hawthorn. The Irish would dance around hawthorn trees and hope to catch a leprechaun coming out for good luck. Leprechauns are good luck… if you can catch one…
It is quickly becoming an annual tradition to dress up for St. Patrick’s Day. Schools and offices are now accepting holiday themed costumes being worn on St. Patrick’s Day. The most interesting costumes now come with St Patrick’s Day stockings. Stockings can be casually worn under work attire to be seen only under the pants legs or with a full costume of a barmaid or leprechaun. [Read more…]
What could be more delightful than a festive St. Patrick’s Day cupcake? Cupcakes are fun and easy to make for any holiday, and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. Even though St. Patrick’s Day was once celebrated by only the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day has now become a holiday for people of all nationalities. Cupcakes are fun to look at and even more fun to eat. So whether it’s for a St. Patrick’s Day Party or a casual family meal, these cupcakes will brighten any affair.
St. Patricks Day Vanilla Cupcake Recipes
St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Cupcake Recipes
- Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes
- Beer Cupcakes
- Chocolate-Mint Shamrock Cupcakes
- Chocolate Stout and Irish Cream Liqueur CupcakesChocolate Spice CupcakesChocolate Friands (aka Cupcakes)
- Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- Junior Mints Cupcakes
- Mouthwatering Guinness and Bailey Irish Cupcakes
St. Patrick’s Day Cupcake Recipes
- Best-Ever Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cappuccino Cupcakes
- Pot-o-Gold Cupcakes
- Rainbow Cupcakes
- Red Bull & Pop Rock Cupcakes
- Red Velvet Revisited (Shamrock-Studded Cupcakes)
- Shamrock Cupcakes
- Shamrock Mint Cupcakes
- St. Patrick’s Day Button Cupcakes
- St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes 1
- St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes 1
- St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes 3
- St. Patrick’s Day Pistachio Cupcakes
Boston was the host of the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in America in 1737. The city continues that tradition with South Boston’s Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, which is the second largest in the United States. At the original event in Boston, Irish immigrant workers marched to protest their unhappiness with their low social status and the difficulty of obtaining jobs in America. The march was on St. Patrick’s Day because it was also meant to express the immigrant’s Irish patriotism and celebrate their Irish heritage. The capital city of Massachusetts has an extensive Irish history with many Irish immigrating to Boston during the Potato Famine in the mid-1800s. Currently, about 25% of the population of Massachusetts is of Irish descent, which makes Massachusetts the most Irish state. Boston has more Irish pubs than any other city in the United States. [Read more…]
The San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade had it’s 1st celebration in 1851 during the Gold Rush. Citizens attended a party at Haynes Valley Park and when night fell, they attended a Shamrock Ball at a popular saloon. Then two years later, on March 17, 1853, San Francisco had their first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade was long, but everyone enjoyed themselves, and there was a grand ball to end the day. In 1854, the procession grew and they marched throughout the streets of San Francisco; and now it is the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade west of the Mississippi River. San Francisco was also named as one of the top 5 places in the United States to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parades continued into the next century as people celebrated the great Irish tradition. Each year, the parade consists of a different theme, depending on the current conditions throughout the country. One of the most emotional parades occurred in 2002 after the devastating events of September 11, 2001. The Irish population of San Francisco tried to help the city regroup after terrorist rocked the country with their devastating attacks on New York City and Washington D.C..
Breweries have been an integral part of the culture of many countries for centuries. The following are a series of 17 of the oldest breweries in the world.
St. James Gate Brewery
Located in Ireland and established in 1759, the Guinness factory consists of the main western entryway to the city of Dublin that was used in the middle ages. They are world renown for their most famous beer, Guinness. Arthur Guinness, in 1759, signed a lease for 9000 years with the price being 45 pounds each year.
Established in 1040, the Weihenstephan brewery located in Weihenstephan, Germany is considered to be the oldest breweries in the entire world. It received its license in 1040 but its historical lineage can be traced back to 768 when there is documentation stating that a hop garden was located on the area.
Bolton has been in existence since 1266 although its modern existence began in the year 1753 when a man named Peter Bolten leased the location.
Also located in Germany, Weltenburg has been making beer for practically a millennium. The original abbey was established in 620 leading to some debate that this may be the oldest brewery in the world.
Established in Austria in the year 1454, Hubertus became less popular after WWI and the loss of the war. Regardless, wonderful beer is still brewed in this location.
Brewery in Stiegl, Austria
In 1492, Stiegl was established as one of the oldest in Austria. The most famous of its brews are Hefeweizen and light lager.
Established in 1478, Warka is the most famous of all breweries in Poland and has recently received extensive renovations.
St. Francis Abbey
The land, which once belonged to a Franciscan Abbey that had brewed ale since the 14th century, was purchased by John Smithwick in 1710 and went on to be the birthplace of the famous brew, Smithwick’s. This beer is owned by the same parent company as Guinness.
Samuel Smith Brewery
Originally established in England in 1758, it was later purchased in 1852 by Samuel Smith for his son, John. It was was named after one of the descendants of the family who was named Samuel as well.
Although it is often confused with the American beer, Budvar is an older beer that was named for Budweis, the city in the Czech Republic in which the Budvar brewery is situated and was established in 1785. This beer is the reason why the American company, Budweiser, is not able to be Budweiser this except in the U.S.
Established in England in the year 1777 by William Bass, Bass is well known for Red Triangle beer.
The oldest brewery in North America is Molson’s in Canada. It is the second oldest Canadian company and is still managed by the Molson family. It remains in its original location where it was established in 1786. Molson’s has recently been well known for its Coors brew.
Established in 1784 as Lithuania’s oldest beer maker, Svyturys has spent considerable time as a part of Germany.
Sinebrychoff was founded by Nikolai Sinebrychoff, a Russian immigrant to Finland, and is believed to be the oldest in Northern Europe. Sinebrychoff is also responsible for the bottling of several popular soft drinks such as Coca-Cola for the country of Finland.
Cascade, which is the oldest in Australia, was founded in 1824 by the English Peter Degraves. Although it is considered a part of Australia, it’s located on Tasmania and operates malting with local grown barley.
Zatec, which was constructed in the year 1800, is believed by some to be in existence in one way or another since 1004. Evidence exists that shows that the location was paying beer taxes as long ago as the 11th century.
D.G. Yuengling & Son Brewery
The oldest American brewery in the United States was established in the year 1829 and is known as D.G. Yuengling & Son. They are well known for Yuengling, its traditional lager. The brewing company is still managed, operated, and owned by the Yuenglings family with the current owner being Richard L. Yuengling.
Brewing has been an integral national and cultural tradition that has been respected and appreciated for centuries upon centuries. Great beers can be found throughout the world. Beer has been, continues to be, and will be an essential part of people’s lives for centuries to come.
Photo credit: Mikelo
Chicago has historically been home to innumerable people of Irish descent. Therefore, it is only natural that this city should be home to an annual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Not to be confused with the city’s South Side Irish Parade, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been a traditional celebration since the 1950’s. The parade attracts countless tourists each year to view its famous activity, festivities, and excitements. [Read more…]