Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

It’s funny how big a celebration St. Patrick’s Day is in the U.S., even for those of us who aren’t Irish.

I happily participate as if I am!

In fact, years ago, I read in a Lonely Planet guidebook of Chicago that St. Patrick’s Day is the chance for Americans to celebrate the Irish that’s in their blood… or those who’d just like to celebrate with Irish beer in their blood. Or something to that effect. It made me laugh.

What’s even funnier is that we Americans celebrate in some ways that the Irish do not. For example:

  • Green Beer
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage

There are other things things that Americans think of as “Irish”, but are really things that evolved in the U.S. and have come to be celebrated by Irish Americans. I absolutely love the song by Gaelic Storm on their album Cabbage, “Raised on Black and Tans” that comically pokes at how we in the U.S. celebrate, take pride in, and relate to our Irish heritage:

I was raised on Black & Tans,
Ronnie Drew and ‘Van the Man’
I go to mass on Sunday
And then it’s back to the pub on Monday
I’ve got a sister Meghan
With a Celtic cross tattoo
I’ll tell you a few stories
And every one of them is true

My mother’s, brother’s, sister’s, cousin’s, auntie’s,
Uncle Barney’s, father’s, brother had a cousin from Killarney

My great-granddad and his mates
They tried to make it to the States
His uncle, he was a failure
He got deported off to Australia
So they stowed upon a steamer
On the famous White Star Line
I was raised upon these stories
Since I was the age of nine…

More of the song here.

It’s all in good fun.

But some stuff just isn’t funny. My husband sent me this article yesterday about Nike naming a new sneaker the “Black and Tan” in order to “honor the country leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.” If someone at Nike would just have used our good friend The Google to look up “Black & Tans”, they would have learned that this was a term used in the 1920s for a suppressive British military group known for its violence against Irish natives.

And while here in the U.S., we usually concoct a “Black and Tan” by mixing a stout (black) with a pale ale (tan); these are not commonly consumed in Ireland. And when they are, they are not ordered as a “Black and Tan”. To do so would be considered disrespectful. Gaelic Storm playfully created ” Raised on Black and Tans” to illustrate that the passion for the Irish heritage in the U.S. is the genuine, even if the symbols are not quite accurate. {By the way, they are a fun concert to a attend. We see them every time they are in town!}

Black and Tan

I have a feeling St. Patrick’s Day will be crazy this year due to it being on Saturday. {But really, nothing’s stopping anyone from celebrating the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. So, I’m sure it’s crazy every year.} I’m just not one to flock with mass crowds for these types of events.

You won’t find me:

  • in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day
  • in New Orleans for Mardi Gras
  • in New York City on New Year’s Eve.

You won’t even find me at the Target Center or Xcel Energy Center for a concert. I prefer a smaller venue. {Okay, so I will attend the Irish Fair in St. Paul in the summer. It’s summer, it’s outdoors, and it’s free! And Gaelic Storm will be a headliner this year!}

What I would like to do next year is the Minneapolis-St. Paul Get Lucky 7K. This just looks like so much fun! Anyone want to join me? And since I’m not Irish, with my luck, we probably won’t have the crazy good weather next year that we have this year. It’s going to be in the 70s this weekend!

Also, I’m going to take a shot at making my first ever corned beef and cabbage for my honey using this recipe. Although there is another great recipe over at Skinny Taste that intrigues me, too.

What are you doing for St. Patrick’s Day?

Do you celebrate? And if so, what are some of your traditions?


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