Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Other St. Patrick's Day Observances

Do you believe in past lives? I don’t, at least not really. I just know that from all my travels, I have never had so many déjà-vu moments anywhere else but in Ireland. I was only in Dublin for a few days one summer during my college days, and I was amazed at how comfortable and familiar everything seemed. From what I saw during my stay in the capital city and in the few day trips we took to coastal areas, I realized that Ireland was more than just another travel destination for me.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I prefer to honor the holiday by watching a great film that showcases the country’s many cultural and natural attractions rather than watching the parades or visiting pubs. The crowds can get rowdy (that is such an understatement) and I don’t think that these activities do the holiday proper justice. I don’t think one has to be Irish to make this statement.

In addition to movies about and/or set in Ireland, I like to listen to Enya, one of my favorite musicians of all time, who just so happens to be Irish. Her first album, The Celts, is not only a perfect soundtrack for relaxation (I hear it played in spas all the time) it is also a wonderful mystical journey into Ireland’s mysterious history before Christianity was introduced in the country by St. Patrick. The album really transports you into another time and place, and that is a very good thing.

Through the words of Irish writers such as Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Lady Gregory, William Butler Yeats, and Maeve Binchy, I gain an outsider’s understanding of certain aspects of the country and its people during various times throughout history. I also love Irish foods, like Irish soda bread, Colcannon (made with mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage), Boxty (another potato dish), and savory fish pies, but I don’t need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to eat any of these foods.

How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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