Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Marina

A few years ago, we were walking down a street by the Boston Park. It was a weekend afternoon, during the first few days of a brand new spring. The green was everywhere – the dewy, translucent green that graces the new sprigs of life blooming on the bosom of the earth as it emerges from the blanket of cold. It was a beautiful day – the kind of day that looks crisp, crackling, new, and sharp – the way it would were you looking through a pair of newest correction glasses at the optometrist.

There were lot of people out on the street. What struck me in particular was that everyone seemed to be wearing green. Perplexed, I gazed around and all I could see was lots and lots of people wearing lots and lots of green. Running, jumping, walking, trotting, sitting – all in some shade of green. And it was just not the clothes alone, but other things too. Some were sporting green headbands with ears projecting from them, or had tons of green shiny beads hanging around their neck, and a few even had earrings that sparkled and bounced off light. Green shoes, green wrist bands, green wrist-lets, green sweatshirts, green nail paint – even the dogs had green scarves.

There was a lot of noise and exuberance in the air. Green mass of people were gathered in groups small and large, around large tables and barbecue grills. Children, all wearing similar shades of green, chorused their fun. Must be some local team, I mused. Still, that did not explain why there were so many of them, of different shapes and sizes, all in different places and there did not seem to be any other team in sight.

A couple of years later, another friend of mine, this time in California, invited us over to a casino to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. “Wear something green,” she said.

And it all fell into place.

Since then, we have a new day to celebrate – St. Patrick’s Day. We do a lot of things green – wear green clothes, eat green food etc. I remember going into a store especially to buy green jewelry once. Obviously, my curiosity got better of me, and I had to know – why green? Why not, say, purple, or red? Turns out that St. Patrick preferred to use Shamrock, a young sprig of clover, as a tool in his teachings, and eventually when the Irish in US started celebrating their roots, green was their color of choice.

Once I watched an interesting documentary on TV, and it said that when the Irish came into US in large numbers right after the great famine to escape starvation, they were despised and ostracized by other communities for their uneducated ways and different religious beliefs. Their celebrations were often mocked and they were depicted as cartoons or monkeys in illustrations. Their assimilation into mainstream society became an uphill challenge. All that changed when this intelligent community recognized their voting power. They organized themselves into strong voting blocks, known as ‘green machine’, and that made people sit up and take notice of them. Soon, the Irish parades became a show of strength, and the political aspirants fell over each other to appease this new ‘kid’ on the block. As the Irish began spreading across the country, so did their traditions.

I think Saint Patrick’s Day captures all that is right with this beautiful country, which lets in immigrants of such varied cultures with their different traditions, makes Americans out of them, and yet lets them keep what’s theirs in such unique ways.

Some ‘green’ recipes from my blog:

 

Egg less pistachio cookies

Pistachio cookies – eggless

 

Green Chutney Fajitas

Green Cashew rice with fish and greens

Green Cashew rice with fish and greens

 

Ghoogni 2

Karaishootir Ghoogni

 

Eggs with sweet green peppers

Eggs with sweet green peppers

 

So Dear Readers, did you hear of St. Patrick’s Day before? Do you celebrate it in any special ways?

14 comments for “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

  1. March 17, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    Good one, Minnie. It reminds me of an experience of my own, 33 years ago. I came into Chicago to interview at a number of places. I was going to move here but wanted a job before doing so. On St. Patrick’s Day, I rode the “El” to The Loop, crossing the Chicago River along the way to my appointment. Well, the river was green, not dirty algae green but bright green! I was horrified! How could the city I intended to call home be so negligent? The sight bothered me all day. I was spending the week at a friend’s apartment and when I returned that evening, I couldn’t wait to let him know how disgusted I was. He sat, patiently, and let me rant. When I was done, he calmly informed me that “We dye the river green every St. Patrick’s Day.” And then he laughed and laughed. He never let me forget it, either.
    Love your green line-up, Minnie. It matches our river, and I mean that in the best possible way. ;)
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Another of the Bartolini Crown Jewels: CannelloniMy Profile

    • March 20, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Oh dear!!! hahahaha!! What a funny story, poor you!! I have heard about the Chicago River and would love to see it up close. Amazing things they do no? Thanks so much for your lovely words.

  2. CCU
    March 17, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    Haha I am glad you discovered the reason for all that greenery my friend and now can enjoy it too – Happy St Paddy day!

    Cheers
    CCU
    CCU recently posted..Guest Post #2: Apple Pie Egg RollsMy Profile

    • March 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      Thanks so much Uru for stopping by despite your busy schedule! Good luck for your exams.

  3. March 17, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    I only got into green food for St. Patrick’s day once and that was for a party years ago. It’s a fun holiday though.
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Rich Hot Fudge SauceMy Profile

    • March 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      It’s fun yes, though I can’t seem to get the men in my family as enthusiastic about it as I am lol!!

  4. March 17, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    I have seen more St Patricks Day celebrations here in the US than I ever did in the UK. I not know if things have changed there, but it’s insane how popular it is here, especially with the non Irish! I guess it’s just another day to eat more, drink more and party more. Nothing wrong with a party!
    Nice green line up!

    Nazneen
    Nazneen | Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Lemon Mascarpone Roulade for EasterMy Profile

    • March 20, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      I could not agree with you more. I think the immigrants end up celebrating more of everything than their home countries ever do, lol!

  5. March 18, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    I did hear about it, I even saw it a couple of times, but never celebrated. Today it was crazy in a city, so many people wearing green :) ANd it’s good to know why a green color, thank you for sharing.
    Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today recently posted..Just For You, San FranciscoMy Profile

    • March 20, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      I just like the feel of it…it’s so spring. I think that is more the reason why I am so drawn at it.

  6. March 18, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    I don’t really go for the green food but I do enjoy wearing green :-)
    CJ at Food Stories recently posted..Monday Muster & Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

    • March 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      lol!!funny though, I don’t enjoy wearing green much, though I love the color.

  7. March 20, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    one of my blogger friends attends every event and i came to know about Saint Patrick’s Day from one of her posts. this must have been really confusing for you :D

    food looks amazing as always! i seriously need to start preparing some of the recipes i found on your blog.

    • April 18, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      Thanks Debajyoti!!

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