American St Patrick’s Day celebrations date back at least three hundred years and like so much else that makes this America, we have embraced this Irish festivity in a style that is uniquely ours.
Shamrocks, leprechauns, and a lot of racket (old-country Irish slang for an old fashioned welcome-to-the-neighborhood party) fill our celebrations as we gulp green beer. Sometimes we even dye our hair green to match that river in Chicago.
But in Ireland today it’s a softer and more subdued festival that often begins with a morning church service. Despite Ireland’s hard drinking reputation, as recently as thirty years ago most pubs were closed on St Paddy's Day in honor of this religious holiday. Even today the pubs are open mainly to serve the tourist trade arriving to celebrate a real Irish St Patrick’s Day.
My kids are from a mongrel heritage that includes a healthy dose of Irish from all four sides as well as Dutch, Indian (feather not dot), English, Scottish, and Welsh.
Katie's necklace claims she's an Irish Princess.