St Patrick’s Day has become such a popular holiday that I’m tempted to say that the phenomenon is a worldwide tradition, the popular refrain being ‘everyone’s Irish tonight!’ But how did St Patrick’s Day come about, and what exactly do people do on March 17th? We’ll be looking at some crucial vocabulary and Irish Phrases for St Patrick’s day that will help you get the party started.
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Irish Vocabulary For St Patricks Day
Here we have some of the very basics that should help you out if you find yourself in an Irish-speaking bar in Dublin.
|To be drunk||Dallta|
|St Patrick’s Day||Lá Fhéile Pádraig|
How Did St Patricks Day Start
If you know anything about St Patrick’s Day, it’s probably that the whole world goes a little crazy and decides to be Irish for 24 hours. But where did the tradition come from?
With many historical things, it finds its roots in the church, although not the Irish church as you might expect but the early Christian church(4th century) in Wales. Patrick, before he was Patrick, was actually called Maewyn Succat, and he was captured and enslaved by Irish invaders.
After he was released, he changed his name and then made it his mission to return to Ireland and attempt to convert those Celts to Christianity(a pretty brave act, all things considered).
This story also became bound up in the myth that Patrick drove out all the snakes in Ireland ( a popular biblical narrative), but as any naturalist will tell you, there have never actually been any snakes in Ireland.
St. Patrick died on March 17th, 461, and he had to wait a loooong time before he got his official holiday. Almost 1500 years, to be exact.
The first official St. Patrick’s Day occurred in 1903 when it was declared a national holiday. Perhaps you knew this already, but what might surprise you is that because it was a religious holiday, alcohol wasn’t allowed, at least not until the 1970s.
St. Patrick’s Day’s popularity exploded in America, where many Irish people migrated (34 million Americans claim Irish ancestry). In fact, the first St Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York. Now there are 100 St Patrick’s day parades in the U.S.
And what a day it is, especially for breweries. It’s estimated that 13 million pints of Guinness are drunk worldwide on this day alone.
Irish Phrases For St Patrick’s Day
|Can I have a Guinness, please?||An féidir liom Guiness a bheith agam, le do thoil?|
|Do you drink alcohol?||An ólann tú alcól?|
|Does this bar sell beer?||An ndíolann an beár seo beoir?|
|Green is the national color of Ireland||Is é glas dath náisiúnta na hÉireann|
|I love St. Patrick’s Day||Is breá liom Lá Fhéile Pádraig|
|My head hurts! I drank too much||Gortaítear mo cheann! D’ól mé an iomarca|
|What date is St. Patrick’s Day?||Cén dáta atá ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig?|
|When does this pub close?||Cathain a dhúnann an teach tábhairne seo?|
|Where is the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?||Cá bhfuil an áit is fearr chun Lá Fhéile Pádraig a cheiliúradh?|
|Why is the leprechaun the mascot of St. Patrick’s Day?||Cén fáth a bhfuil an leipreachán ina mascot ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig?|
What Do People Do On St Patrick’s Day?
Although this is a holy day, many people have replaced going to church with a parade where you can see a Paddy’s day procession with floats, and then, after the parade, comes the pub.
Another tradition is that everybody dresses in green, the national color of Ireland, but this was not always the case. Until the 18th century and the Irish Revolution, St Patrick was associated with blue.
What about the four-leaf clover? The national symbol. Well, this was a tool Patrick used to convert the pagans… The clover represented the four stations of the cross.
Perhaps the most traditional of all is when you get to the pub where there will often be native Irish music like ceilidh where you’ll hear great Irish tunes.
One more story you might hear on St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps indicative of Irish humor and culture and relates to Patrick’s pointed stick or crozier.
While Patrick was baptizing King Aengus at the Rock of Cashel, he became lost in prayer and began banging the crozier on the cement floor. One of these thrusts came down, and the pointed end went straight through Aengus’s foot. The King remained stoic even as the metal impaled him. When Patrick opened his eyes, he looked down, horrified at the blood, and asked Aengus ‘why did you not cry out?’ at which point, Aengus replied ‘I thought it was part of the ceremony.’
Learn Irish With Ling
Picture this. You’ve selected the best bar to go to on your St Patrick’s Day holiday in Dublin, an Irish paradise. Then you get there and discover that the patrons are speaking Irish, and you have no idea what they’re saying, making you feel like you’re unable to join in with the merriment, Irish laughter, and Irish tunes.
Well, Ling ensures you make friends in the Emerald Isle. Follow the Ling program, which means studying about 10 minutes a day, 7 days a week, and slowly and steadily make your way through the Irish course. Undoubtedly the easiest thing to practice is vocabulary and listening, and the SRS flashcards mean that vocabulary sticks in your head.
This blog tries to make Irish culture and Irish heritage as accessible as possible. Check out a few others here if you enjoyed this one, such as Irish sayings.
Now an old poem to finish:
May the Irish hills caress you, may her rivers and lakes bless you, may the luck of the Irish enfold you, may the blessings of St Patrick behold you.