Pinch Yourself! I am Irish!

‘Tis the day o’ the Irish when people ’round the western world get decked out in one of the secondary colours to drink beer, dance jigs and pinch each other. Sounds like the elements of a wild party; perhaps. It’s March 17th St. Patrick’s Day.

Popular lore says that St. Patrick was hailed a hero for supposedly driving the snakes out of Ireland (assuming Ireland had any snakes to begin with). Such is the tabloid version of his story.  How this relates to modern-day shamrock shaped baked goods and green alcohol-laden celebrations I’m not sure. To read a more studied and comprehensive history of St. Patrick, click here. For more on St. Patrick’s Day click here.
At any rate here is the Weal World Travel salute to St. Patrick’s Day.

The following is a brief synopsis of what Ireland has to offer the Weal World Way:

Dance and boxing are often associated with Ireland. Billy Elliot is a great film that explores attitudes towards these 2 activities through the personal journey of a boy named Billy. Try a jig to get your cardio going and your legs showing; fancy footwork that is. If you want to work your upper body, try a boxing workout. Though all you tend to see are flying fists it is actually the core (i.e. the gluteal, hip, abdominal and back musculature) that drives the movement.

When one thinks of Ireland flora the shamrock and four-leaf clover immediately come to mind (for most people anyways). These clovers, however, don’t have a use in aromatherapy. Here instead is the link for The Aromatherapy Council of Ireland.

The humble potato and the lowly cabbage are the foods oft associated with Ireland. From antioxidants to cancer prevention the health benefits of these common veg far outshine their ignoble image. A word (or several) about the cabbage and the potato.

Irish immigrants have made their way around the world. Here are some destinations to visit with a decidedly Irish connection:

  • Ireland is the obvious one.
    Check out The Gathering Ireland 2013 for a year’s worth of St. Patrick’s Day spirit.
  • Northern Ireland, UK.
    Though officially a part of Britain this politically segregated country is still fiercely Irish. Interested in travel? Click here.
  • Newfoundland, Canada.
    Yes the Irish sure do get around! One of the stops is Newfoundland, the last province to join Canada. See related post The Irish in Newfoundland.
  • Boston, USA. This apparently was where the Kennedy political dynasty was bred. If in town take a Boston Walking Tour: the Kennedy Tour.
  • Australia.
    From convicts to colonists, Australia has experienced successive waves of Irish migration. See post on the National Museum Australia website.

Yes there is chocolate in Ireland! Well the cacao tree doesn’t grow there but the end product made from the beans of the cocoa pod is certainly worthy of a chocoholic’s palate. See Ireland is for (chocolate) lovers.

Sadly none of my own to show as I traveled to the Emerald Isle when I was still using a film camera. The proof that I kissed the Blarney Stone is on celluloid only.

And for the record, yours truly, Kimberley-the Itinerant Introvert, has Irish ancestry. Thanks to my maternal blue-eyed Irish Rovers-loving  grandmother I can claim some Irish ancestry. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some vegan Irish stew to make.

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