Saint Patrick’s Day is around the corner! This means its four-leaf clover and leprechaun hunting season yet again! Be sure to break out your emerald green clothing! you certainly don’t want to be one of the unlucky ones getting pinched all day by ruthless co-workers. My family line has Scotch-Irish roots, but we have never really celebrated this holiday and I wasn’t even sure on the origins of this festive emerald green day. So I started to do some research and have decided to share my findings!
Saint Patrick’s Day is named after the saint sent to the Green Isle around 430 AD to evangelize the pagans of Ireland. St. Patrick, (or Maewyn as he was known) was born in Wales, and was kidnapped at the age of 16 and forced into salvery in Ireland as a herdsman. During this time of servitude, Maewyn is said to have grown close to God, and decided he wanted to serve God in ministry of some sort. After six years of labor, he managed to make his escape and fled to France. While in France, Maewyn began to study and was made a priest in the Catholic church. It was then that he took on the name of Patrick. It became his goal to return to Ireland and minister to the people there, having forgiven his captors when he had been in Ireland formerly, and with a strong desire to see them come to the Lord. He was granted his wish and ministered to the Irish people for 30 years, converting many to the Christian faith despite pagan oppostion. It is around this time that the legend of Saint Patrick expelling all snakes from Ireland forever (as there are no snakes in Ireland at all) came about, and also his tradition of using the shamrock as an illustration. He died on March 17th in 493 AD, leaving a legacy behind. The date of his death became known as St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday we hold to and celebrate today. I had never heard the details of this holiday, and I thought it was fascinating! It gives the holiday whole new meaning, instead of pots of gold and short green clad men!
Whatever St. Patrick’s Day means to you, its most definitely time to start planning your celebrations. With this in mind, there are several festivals going on in the area you don’t want to miss!
The first of the significant celebrations we found is the 5th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival at the Orange County Swap Meet on Sunday. Being held at the traditional Orange County Market Place, this Sunday’s special swap meet will feature irish dancing performers from esteemed irish dance schools, celtic favorites performed by electric cellist Marston Smith, and a Leprechaun who juggles and does magic tricks! A traditional celtic stiltwalker will also be present and delicious green lemonade and irish mint ice cream available as well! Click here to print out a coupon for a free ice cream cone (while supplies last)! The usual swap meet events will continue, admission is $2, children ages 12 and under are free. This is a great event for the kids! Definitely a celebration parents and children alike will enjoy!
The next big event we discovered is the Los Angeles County Irish Fair and Music Festival being held on both Saturday and Sunday at the Fairplex. This massive event will feature traditional irish food, music ranging from traditional celtic strains to celtic rock, irish dancing, storytellers, balloon creations, stilt-walkers, leprechauns, celtic comedy, sheepherding demonstrations, and so much more! This 2 day event promises to entertain the entire family with its Irish charm and traditions. General Admission is $18.
Although my family doesn’t hold any serious traditions for St. Patrick’s Day growing up, my mom always did try to make Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner and made sure we were wearing some sort of green before we left for school. Here are some scrumptious recipes we found to make your mouth water and bring out the Irish lad or lassie in you this year!
- 3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
- 10 small red potatoes
- 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch pieces
- 1 large head of cabbage, cut into small wedges
- Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
- Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
- Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Duth oven or large pot) as you wanr. Slice meat across the grain.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit (or 175 degrees Celsius).
- In a medium bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of sugar until very fluffy.Gradually add the flour and rice flour. As the dough gets stiffer, turn it out onto a well floured surface, and knead it until smooth.
- Press dough into a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan, score into bars and prick with a fork. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the top, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated over, until goldne brown. Cut along scored lines into bars while still warm. Cool before serving.
Be sure to check out the original recipes and reviews!
Hopefully we’ve given you plenty of options for celebration of this fun holiday! Let us know how you decide to celebrate, and have fun!!!! Here is a parting Irish blessing to bring you luck this holiday:
Like the warmth of the sun
And the light of the day
May the luck of the Irish
Shine bright on your way
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!!!!