April 6th National Tartan Day

Come from a Scottish or Irish background? Well today is the day to show your colors and be proud of it. I am sure there are other countries that wear the tartan too, but Scotland is the best known for it. In fact, today is a celebration of Scotland’s Declaration of Independence being signed. Fact is, the American Declaration was based on the one the Scots declared in 1320. Tartan colors designate the families that created them. Reds, greens, and blues, were all difficult colors to obtain in history, but the Scottish spent time and money getting the colors just right. To wear them is to show pride in your Scottish heritage.

How to celebrate – Research your family’s Tartan. Visit Scotland. When the lockdown is over, plan to attend one of the many parades all over the world to show off Tartan pride.

May 13th Leprechaun Day

No, it’s not Saint Patrick’s Day, it is Irish, but it’s that legendary guardian of that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the Leprechaun’s day. Now there is no proof that Leprechaun’s ever really existed, though their are many, many people who have claimed to see them. (Normally after drink) The Leprechaun represents the prankster in all of us, the hope that we can find our reward somewhere and the luck of the Irish. The leprechaun is in the same category as the unicorn, the boogie man and big foot. We sort of hope they are real but down deep, we know they aren’t. Doesn’t mean that we can’t still pretend like they are real and they probably do come from some story containing truth, just like Santa.

How to celebrate – Look for your pot of gold. Visit Ireland. Wear green.

March 17th St. Patrick’s Day

Seems like just last year around this time it was St. Patrick’s Day. The green beer, the shamrocks, leprechauns, corn beef, and cabbage. Well darn, I guess it’s time to celebrate again! If you are Irish, along with the 34 million other American’s, it’s time to show your pride in your heritage. The first time St. Patrick’s Day ever was celebrated was in New York City in 1762. You might think it was in Ireland, but no, it’s an American holiday. It celebrates St. Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland. In honor of the Emerald Isle whether you are Irish or not, you should celebrate today since the Irish brought so much to this country, and the world.

How to celebrate – Visit an Irish pub today. Wear green if you have any Irish blood in you! Recognize orange is an Irish color as well.

November 29th Square Dance Day

Is there anything more American than the square dance!?! Well, yes because the square dance actually comes from the Irish, English and Scottish! However, they do not use a caller for those required directions are truly American.

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Allemande, Promenade, Courtesy, Circulate and Do Sa Do (Or Do Si Do) are all popular commands for the square dance. If they do not sound familiar to you, you probably do not square dance.

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You can see the origins in Medieval dance, though their squares were more rectangles. The way royals often showed their royalty by being the only ones who knew the steps to the dance. Since America has no royalty, we use the caller to tell us what to do.

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Generally accompanied by country or folk music with a quick beat, this dance style is both fun and rigorous. It can also be painful for those who do not know the steps. (Toes are likely to be stepped on)

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I wonder if Mr. and Mrs. Claus square dance? Perhaps it could become the traditional Christmas dance! It generally is colorful enough and it is a celebration. An new invention, The Christmas Square Dance!

How to celebrate – Learn how to square dance. Learn how to become a caller. Invent a rock and roll square dance.

March 17th St. Patrick’s Day

If you are Irish you certainly know about today! It is the celebration of that beautiful, and often troubled, island. It honors Saint Patrick, who I have covered before so I will not go into detail here. He was not Irish, but brought Christianity to Ireland in the 400’s AD.

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Known as the Emerald Isle the national color is obviously green. The lush green lands of Ireland that brings us the national dish of Corn Beef and Cabbage, and of course, potatoes. It was once a wild land and while civilized now, by others standards, much of Ireland still appears wild and unclaimed.

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It is the land of shamrocks and leprechaun, both meant to bring one luck, but both of which have some dark history to them.  Oddly, there are some 34 million people in America that are descendants of Ireland. The reason it is odd is because it is 9 times the population of Ireland itself!

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If you come from Ireland, or have Irish relatives, you have a great deal to be proud of. I am not sure dying your dog green is such a good idea, but what the heck. The Irish have always been dependable people, normally of good cheer and though sometimes can show their hot tempers, make for some of the best friends on earth.

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How to celebrate – Go green! Check your family tree for relatives that came from Ireland. Try and find the end of your rainbow!

May 12th Limerick Day

A limerick is a 5 line poem, normally humorous, where the first, second and fifth lines rhyme and the third and forth lines rhyme. It was born in Limerick, Ireland (Third largest city in Ireland) with the father being Edward Lear (!812-1888).

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Lear wrote the “Book of Nonsense” featuring his limericks in 1846, it became a hit and added another dimension to a poets world. Lear lived in Limerick, Ireland obviously finding life filled with humor, or at least professing it should be filled with humor.

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So today as you read this blog

On this site which you have now logged

Together we’ll find

A way to stimulate the mind

Of which, has so long, been a fog

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How to celebrate – Read the “Book of Nonsense”. Write your own limericks. Speak only in limerick today.

 

March 17th St. Patrick’s Day

If there is any Irish in you, today is one of the best days of the year! And as the old saying goes, there’s a little Irish in everyone! In Ireland, it is better known as Erin Go Bragh, which means… “Ireland Forever”.

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Saint Patrick is best known for bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle, living sometime in the 400’s AD (no one apparently knows when for sure). There is a myth that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland as well but that part of his legend is probably not true. Saint Patrick had an interesting life though.42

Saint Patrick’s day is about recognizing the Saint, God, and Jesus, but it’s also about sharing the history of Ireland and that means Green Beer, Corn Beef and Cabbage, and Shamrocks.

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A Shamrock is a sprig of clover and has medicinal purposes, but it also is a symbol of Ireland and Saint Patrick, and a metaphor for the Holy Trinity. There is always a great deal of celebrating going on today, whether for the right reasons or not. One tradition has become the Saint Patty’s Day Parade which started in New York City in 1762, not in Ireland! In fact there are some 34 million Americans claiming Irish ancestry, 9 times the actual population of Ireland!

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And how can we forget the legendary Leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There are a few sayings for leprechaun wishes:

“May the road rise up to meet you.” “May the rain fall softly on your fields. And the sun shine warm on your face.” “When Irish eyes are smiling… they are probably up to something.”

How to celebrate – Check your heritage to see if you have any Irish blood in you. Wear green to show support for the Irish. Plant some Shamrocks in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.