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Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

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“Sufficient for me is that honor which is not seen of men but is felt in the heart, as faithful is He who hath promised and who never lies.”  Saint Patrick

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

The list of Irish saints is past counting; but in it all no other figure is so human, friendly, and lovable as St. Patrick — who was an Irishman only by adoption. Stephen Gwynn
A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen. John O’Donohue
I have a Creator who knew all things, even before they were made – even me, his poor little child. Saint Patrick
For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way –
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.
~Author Unknown

May luck be our companion.
May friends stand by our side.
May history remind us all.
Of Ireland’s faith and pride.
May God bless us with happiness.
May love and faith abide

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!: Even though March 17 is the official day of celebration, the joyful and colorful parades start a week earlier. As far back as I can remember, many folks celebrate this popular, international holiday by joining throngs of people in colorful parades everywhere and some make up their own version of what it all means. What I love about this day of revelry is how much fun and creativity goes into planning the parades and celebrations; organizers showcase the best of Ireland and its immigrant population around the world and for good reason. The Irish immigrant population originated the first parade in New York in 1762, and the event has grown beyond that first attempt to honor St Paddy and all things Irish. To help us understand this invented cultural extravaganza, I have added, in the block quotes above each paragraph, a quote from Saint Patrick, a few quotes from Irish creatives, and a couple of traditional Irish Toasts/Blessings to help us celebrate this happy day. What do you really know about Saint Patrick’s Day? I have included insightful Traditions/Facts and Tales/Myths about this special day for your enjoyment. You’d be surprised to learn new insights on this beloved tradition. Do Read them.

Traditions/Facts: The harp is the symbol of Ireland not the green shamrock. Many St. Patrick’s Day “traditions” have nothing to do with Ireland or Irish culture; officially these are American invented traditions. Did you know that New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the longest running civilian parade in the world? Colonial New York City hosted the first official St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762, when Irish immigrants in the British colonial army marched down city streets.  Some say that St. Patrick’s Day was invented in America by Irish-Americans and the U.S. tradition of St. Patrick’s Day parades, packed pubs, and green has since become popular in Ireland. It is closely followed by the parades in Montreal and Dublin. Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is little more than 75 years old. Apparently, the shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world is in Dripsey, Cork. It lasts 100 yards which is the distance between the village’s two pubs.

 In 1903, Saint Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland but, it was a minor religious holiday celebrated with reverence, calm and no booze. A priest would acknowledge the feast day, and families would celebrate with a big meal, but that was about it. In the 1970s, the revelry we see in the US was picked up on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland and the shift created some push back but it continued in the new vein. In the mid 1990s, the Irish government began a campaign to use Saint Patrick’s Day to showcase Ireland and its culture; with a festival as the end goal. The first, official Saint Patrick’s Festival was held on 17 March 1996 in Ireland. Over time, the celebrations have taken on a mythical angle that include drinking green beer, clovers, leprechauns and what have you. As long as you take it all in jest, it’s fine but let’s remember to separate tales from traditions.  Every St. Patrick’s Day, revelers raise a pint of stout and wish their companions “Slainté!”—the Irish word, pronounced SLAN-cha, for “health.” They wear a shamrock NOT a four-leaf clover. Trifolium dubium, the wild-growing, three-leaf clover that some botanists consider the official shamrock, is an annual plant that germinates in the spring.  plus, it is a wiser option as your chances of finding a four-leaf clover are slim to none – how about 1 in 10,000? I did find one though.
READ: St. Patrick’s Day – Origins, Facts, Celebrations, Traditions



“Anyone acquainted with Ireland knows that the morning of St. Patrick’s Day consists of the night of the seventeenth of March flavored strongly with the morning of the eighteenth.” Author Unknown

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

If you hold a four-leaf shamrock in your left hand at dawn on St. Patrick’s Day you get what you want very much but haven’t wished for. Patricia Lynch
The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness. John O’Donohue
I only seek in my old age to perfect that which I had not before thoroughly learned in my youth, because my sins were a hindrance to me. Saint Patrick
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through! Irish Blessings

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May Grace fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. Irish Blessings


Mixing Tradition with Tales: When I think of Saint Patrick and read about his life, I think of a young man motivated by an inner prompting to go back to the land where he was once enslaved and do some good.  That is one of the fundamental motives we can adopt this year as we work our way through our goals/plans…. SEEK TO DO SOME GOOD. We must also work to steep ourselves in fact finding for clarity. One of the challenges we face when we read about cultural events is being able to separate fact from myth. We read all sorts of interpretations on the internet and because we assume that nobody is watching, some of us take liberties by stretching the truth and making up new stories. I must admit that until I started doing my homework on cultural events, I believed almost everything that I was told about so many of them: from Saint Patrick’s Day, Kwanzaa, to April Fool’s day and more. With a bit more investigation, we can get to the bottom of these stories and learn to appreciate and respect these holidays for what they truly represent. Learning the real traditions and backstories makes for an exciting and more engaged and appreciative celebration. After all, it takes a lot of effort to get any annual event off the ground.  I wish each of you a bit o’ luck of the Irish. Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!

Traditions/Facts: Did you know that there 34.5 million folks of Irish descent in the US? This means that there are more Irish people living in the U.S. than in Ireland because Ireland has about 4.2. million people and counting. In contrast, we have about 34 million people of Irish descent living in America and understandably, that is why Saint Paddy’s Day parade started here.

Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”) is considered a cultural and religious holiday and is celebrated on 17 March, the death date of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461). It marks the Roman Catholic feast day for St. Patrick who was born in Britain not in Ireland.
As the legend goes, St. Patrick was kidnapped at 16 and brought to Ireland where he was sold as a slave in the county of Antrim. He was a bonded slave for six years until he escaped to Gaul, in France. He later returned to his parents’ home in Britain, where he had a vision that he would preach to the Irish. After 14 years of study, Patrick returned to Ireland, and built his first church in 445 in Armagh. He went on to build more churches and spread the Christian faith for about 30 years. His legacy remains in Ireland for the good deeds he brought to the area. He was a former slave from Britain who received a calling to serve the Irish people.
READ: St. Patrick’s Day: Facts & Fiction
Saint Patrick’s Day: Quotes, Toasts & Sayings #saintpatricksday
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for FEB 2018/MAR 2018 are:



01/01 –   01/01 New Year’s Day, 01/04  World Braille Day, 01/07 Orthodox Christmas, Golden Globes Award
01/08 –   01/11 Human Trafficking Awareness,  01/14 Orthodox New Year,
01/15 –   01/15  Martin Luther King Day,  01/21 World Religion Day,
01/22 –   01/26 International Customs Day, 01/27 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
01/28 –   01/28  Grammy Awards,


03/04 – Women’s History Month, National Nutrition Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, American Red Cross Month, 08 International Women’s Day, World Kidney Day, 04 Academy Awards
03/11 – 11 Daylight Savings, 14 Pi Day, 15 World Consumer Rights Day, 17 St Patrick’s Day
03/18 – 19 St Joseph, 20 International Day of Happiness, 21 World poetry Day, 22 World Water day, 24 Earth Hour
03/25 – Palm Sunday, 29 Holy Thursday, 30 Good Friday, 31 Passover

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2018?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.

— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” Adrienne Cook

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

If you’re Irish, it doesn’t matter where you go – you’ll find family. Victoria Smurfit
Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends. William Butler Yeats
Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall. Saint Patrick
St. Patrick’s Day Toast
Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer – and another one!
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours! Old Irish Blessing


Do you know why green is a popular color on this day?  Back in the 18th century, supporters for the  Independence of the country chose green as their emblem color and it stuck. It wasn’t a universal, across the country, color of choice. One big part of this special day is the veneration of the shamrock/3 leaf clover which is  a symbol of Ireland and plays a big role in all the greening that goes on on this special day. While we are on the subject, the 4 leaf clover is harder to find and is considered a symbol of good fortune. Personally, I’ve only ever found one once and I think I still have it tucked away in an old wallet. Whether you believe in the luck of the Irish or not, I think it can’t hurt to cherish and enjoy an opportunity to believe in something positive, fun and uplifting. So, enjoy the festivities, keep an open mind to the magic around you, and you never know what great good fortune might touch your feet. Moving along…  :mrgreen:


Tales/Fiction:  While some might thing St. Patrick is Irish, he is not.  He was born in Great Britain and his real name was Maewyn Succat NOT Patrick. Do you think St. Patrick’s Day was started in Ireland?   As far as we know, it was invented in the United States of America and St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually first held in New York in 1762, and the Irish in Ireland joined in many years later. According to St. Patrick’s Day lore, Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Christian holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But there is insufficient proof on that bit of fable.
One of the best known myths about this popular saint is that Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland into the Irish Sea, where the serpents drowned. He didn’t. It was merely symbolic of him replacing pagan traditions with Christian ones. What about Leprechauns? Female Leprechauns! Oh Female Leprechauns! They only exist in the same city where Unicorns live… They have nothing to do with this day and until the 19thC, these folklore characters wore red instead of green clothing.

Saint Patrick Day Green – In the United States, it’s customary to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. While the color green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s, the color was long considered to be unlucky in some parts of Ireland. In the US, the green color took over in many ways; Since 1962, Chicago has been famous for dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patrick’s Day.  St. Patrick’s color is blue so, that green hat on your head and on other body parts are probably an American invention.  It can be called St. Patty’s Day” … NOT! Please call him St. Patrick or St. Paddy… after all, the last time we checked, Patty was/is/always will be female.Also, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” was not created in Ireland but by a group of New York songwriters
Pass the Lager – While drinking is a part of the festivities, it is NOT the main reason for the celebrations. It wasn’t until the 1970s that people could drink in pubs in Ireland on St Patrick’s Day. Before then, it was a teetotaler day. Pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick’s Day because it was seen as both a cultural and a national religious holiday. Green Beer is not Irish and The pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow isn’t coming to a street near you any day soon. (If, by chance, one did happen to find a mystical pot at the end of a rainbow this St. Patrick’s Day, and it contained 1,000 gold coins weighing one ounce each, WalletHub estimated the total current worth at $1.26 million).  Corned beef and cabbage isn’t a traditional Irish dish but go ahead and enjoy it anyway. While it is important to know the backstory, it is also heartwarming that we can still enjoy the good feelings and cultural exchange that is often shared at these events.
READ: Did St. Patrick Really Drive Snakes Out of Ireland?
St. Patrick’s Day: 10 Fascinating Facts About This Holiday
St Patrick’s Day: Top 20 Things You Should Know

Have a peaceful and productive week ahead!

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Positive Motivation Tip: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and spread some joy while grounded in the history and everything else that makes this a joyous invented event.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM


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PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos, Saint Patrick’s Day,  via Pixabay,  AND/OR Saint Patrick’s Day  via  Wikipedia


Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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