I have to work on March 17 so we are celebrating a day early. This year for the first time I am making Corned Beef Brisket with carrots, cabbage and potatoes. And I am making Ceo Maidin cocktails.
When I was a teenager my grandmother told me to wear orange on St. Patrick’s Day to honor William of Orange. This is the first I had heard about any of this, but I did start wearing both orange and green on that day every since. Here is the sweater I still wear (even though it is kind of ugly and dated).
When I was a young adult I started researching my geneology and in that time learned quite a bit about Scotch-Irish history. Much of it seems brutal and involves martyrs. Some of my direct ancestors were martyred. It is interesting that neither of my Scotch-Irish grandparents focused on any of this in my childhood. I wonder if they left some of this behind when they moved to the west coast. It was even to the point that my grandmother had a President and Mrs. Kennedy plate which I inherited.
When we went to the UK in 2009 we visited the site where one of my ancestors was jailed and then killed in Scotland.
We then visited Northern Ireland and saw the church that some of my ancestors attended before immigrating here.
And we visited Belfast which felt like a powder keg waiting to explode.
We could not visit the Republic of Ireland as our camper van contract would not allow it. I hope it is more peaceful there, but there is a long and brutal history on both sides of the Irish border.
In this country the hatred for the Irish has dissipated for the most part, but it seems to be replaced by hatred for other groups. So on this St Patrick’s Day I am going to be wearing my ugly orange and green sweater and remembering the lyrics of Elvis Costello.
My maternal grandfather told my mother the same thing: “Wear orange”. I thought it had something to do with the Catholic/Protestant division. Now we are friends with a family of 14 by the name of O’Rourke, and I wear whichever one I please. Have a good one.
That sounds like a good plan, Sharrie!
I just got back from the republic of Ireland 2 weeks ago. It is peaceful, but there is no love for the British even there. All over there are memorials to those who died in 1916 rebellion.
I hope you had a great trip Jackie! The evidence of the Troubles was everywhere in Northern Ireland. Smoldering hatred still persists.