My family are Irish by my great-grandmother, Kathleen Kinkade, a Most-Honored Ancestor, and we attribute most of our talent, smarts, and wit to our Irish DNA.
Have you noticed, though, that most of our cherished Irish traditions are actually American? Surely the Irish-Americans have been involved, but the wearin’ o’ the green in rivers and beer is all-American, as are the parades and excessive drinking. In Old Ireland, the taverns were all closed and the churches were open for “celebration”. It wasn’t until 1995 that Dublin organized a parade (NYC’s is still bigger) and week-long festival to attract tourists.
Leprechauns, of course, are real, as are fairies. My grandie asked me last week if I believed there was a pot of gold at a rainbow’s end. I cannot prove it one way or the other, but that’s the magic of leprechauns, dwarf elves, usually shoe cobblers, who love a good practical joke. Though they originated in Ireland, many emigrated to our country over the years and we now have a sizeable population who live peacefully amongst us. It’s true with fairies, also, who used some family-chain-migration to populate our wooded areas. I’m sure there is a fine Leprechaun living in our woods, but he prefers his solitude and I respect that. Our fairies are definitely Irish, as I’ve heard the sound of their dancing in the grove.
My traditions are corned beef and cabbage, in the crockpot right now, and planting peas. Planting peas on St. Patrick’s day is supposed to bring luck; I guess most celebratory traditions are to bring Luck, aren’t they? I do it because it’s a good time to get cool-weather crops started, even in cold years.
This year we’ve cultivated our newest garden bed and it’s ready for some early crops before we use it for melons this summer. The area is 3.5′ x 16′; beets and carrots will be sown in the front 12″, and spinach and radishes in successive plantings in the middle 12″. The peas will go up against the trellis along the back 6″.
I’ve never grown beets or carrots well, trying several years ago with absolutely nothing to show for it. I’m determined to bring in a crop this year! My peas don’t always do well, either, but I usually get Something for my efforts. I must confess, in case you didn’t know, I can’t control the weather…
But we’ve got a beautiful day here today! There’s lots of good Irish music to play while we work –it’s more of a “Whisky in the Jar” day than a “Danny Boy” day, and I believe some Irish beverages are in order.
My NYC Irish Dancers have been Busy this week, marching in parades and performing in bars, country clubs, meetings… For your St. Patrick’s Day pleasure, here’s 5 minutes of fierce Irish Dancing from 2020 starring Emma and Eliza O’Casey Jose’…