Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every Saturday and sent out to nearly 1100 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at:
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Greetings & Blessings to Everyone,
The day started out chilly, but it's now sunny and warm with temperatures approaching, dare we even say it - 70 degrees! Out in the backyard, the snowdrops are blooming and the daffodils are up and beginning to bud. Without question, springtime is by far and away our favorite season in the Ohio Valley. Of course, as the old saw goes, if you don't like the weather in these parts, just wait five minutes; we'll probably have a blizzard tomorrow, especially since that's when our parade is scheduled!
Wherever you are, we hope the weather is fair and that this newsletter finds you enjoying the St. Patrick's Day weekend. For our readers in Ireland, it's a bank holiday on Monday - but it would have been a national holiday anyway, given that it's also March 17th! In any event, if you're out on the road, safe journey, there and back.
This time last week, we mentioned how close we were to reaching 1,000 subscribers. Not long after the newsletter went out, the magic number was reached - in fact we've had a record number of people sign up and we're well on our way to 1100. Next bench-mark - 2500. The 1000th subscriber has been notified - but no response back so far. We decided that since Lady Luck had as much to being the 1000th as anything else, a lovely deck of cards purchased in Ireland would be appropriate. So, if you're reading this, subscriber 1000, please email us with your address and we'll send you your pressie.
In addition to finally reaching that long-anticipated subscriber goal, another bench-mark is looking as if it might also materialize this month - one million hits on the web site. It's all a bit overwhelming when we look at the numbers each day and see so many different countries represented. Surprisingly, China - which hadn't even shown up until recently, is in sixth place for number of hits. South Korea was also a surprise visitor this past week.
In other news, as per usual, our mailbox had some interesting messages. One reader wants to know the name of the Irish spirit, which, if it likes you, will clean your house, and if it doesn't, will spit on you! We know of the Pooka spitting on fruit during Samhain (or worse), but we're not familiar with a spirit that does windows - if you know, please, please share it with us!
We also heard from a lovely couple who run a site called International Irish Music; as with ourselves, they're struggling to keep things going, so please pay them a visit and help support their efforts. You'll find their site in our list of links.
We also heard from a company in Co. Louth that makes and ships Irish caskets all over the world. This is the second time in as many months that we have heard from people in the funeral business. The other company is in the USA and they began something called The Irish Wake after the adult children of an Irish-born mother couldn't find appropriate ways to honor her memory and her heritage. Bridget has had in mind to do an article on Irish wakes and funeral traditions and we'll probably include links to both of these companies when that article is written and published. In the meantime, should you be involved with the planning of a final parting for a loved one and you're interested in contacting either of these firms, please drop us a line and we'll give you their email addresses.
On a lighter note - how would you like to send a birthday card to a total stranger? Seems that Beulah will be 80 on Tuesday and her sister is trying to have that many greeting cards sent in honor of the occasion.We think it's a lovely gesture and we'll do our bit. If you would like to as well, please write to us and we'll share her snail mail address with you.
In all the blathering, we've overlooked welcoming you all back, as well as saying a special hello to our new readers - thank you so much for becoming a part of our on-line family. It is indeed a pleasure to have you with us and we hope you'll spread the word about Irish Culture and Customs among your family and friends.
With that, on with the update...
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SIMPLY IRISH featuring unique items you won't find elsewhere - from one-of-a kind jewelry to the highest quality musical instruments. And don't forget, Mother's Day in Ireland is March 30th.
IN THIS ISSUE:
A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
A BIT O' THE WIT
Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
A surgeon and an architect, both English, were joined by an Irish politician, and all fell to arguing as to whose profession was the oldest. Said the surgeon, "Eve was made from Adam's rib, and that surely was a surgical operation." "Maybe," said the architect, "but prior to that, order was created out of chaos, and that was an architectural job." "Sure now," interrupted the politician, "but wasn't somebody after creating the chaos first?"
DID YOU KNOW...
1. St. Patrick might not be buried in Ireland at all? One legend says he ended his days in Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey and there is evidence of an Irish pilgrimage to his tomb during the reign of the Saxon King in A.D. 688.
2. St. Patrick was the first person in history to speak out against slavery and he is the Patron Saint of the Excluded? By the time of his death, or shortly thereafter, the Irish stopped slave trading and they never took it up again.
3. St. Patrick's real name is believed to have been Maewyn Succat?
QUIPS, QUOTES & ANECDOTES - PROVERBS & TOASTS, TOO
St. Patrick's Birthday
On the eighth day of March it was, some people say,
That Saint Patrick at midnight first saw the day.
While others declare 'twas the ninth he was born,
And 'twas all a mistake between midnight and morn;
For mistakes will occur in a hurry and shock,
and some blam'd the babby-and some blam'd the clock-
Till with all their cross questions sure no one could know
If the child was too fast-or the clock was too slow.
Now the first faction fight in old Ireland, they say,
Was all on account of Saint Patrick's birthday.
Some fought for the eighth-for the ninth more would die,
And who wouldn't see right, sure they blacken'd his eye!
At last both the factions so positive grew,
That each kept a birthday, so Pat then had two.
Till Father Mulcahy, who confessed them their sins,
Said, "Ye can't have two birthdays, unless ye be twins."
Says he, "Don't be fightin' for eight or for nine,
Don't be always dividin'-but sometimes combine;
Combine eight with nine, and seventeen is the mark,
So let that be his birthday." "Amen," says the clerk.
"If he wasn't a twins, sure our hist'ry will show
That, at least, he is worth any two saints that we know!"
Then they all drowned the shamrock-which completed their bliss,
And we keep up the practice from that day to this.
(Edited and adapted from Dick's Irish Dialect Recitations, Wm. B. Dick, Editor, New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, Publisher, 1879)
KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS & BOOKS?
The answers to last week's quiz:
1. St. Patrick's Letters - Daniel Conneely
2. Ireland Before St. Patrick - Peter Harbison
3. St. Patrick's Day - Lord Help Us! - Thomas Regan
Applause, applause for this week's literary sleuths:
Who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland it's the McKiernans of Irish Books &
Exquisitely embroidered Christening gowns - Judy didn't say that - we did! We visited her site and it's a wonderful piece of work - not just the gowns, but all of the other features, too, from patterns to puzzles and more. Well worth a visit!
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Featuring St. Patrick's Day
and as always - Our Everyday Heroes
An interesting web-site is:
What tree did you fall from? Find your birthday, find your tree and then scroll down. This is really cool and somewhat accurate, also in line with Celtic astrology. I'm a Cypress Tree! (We visited - Bridget's a Fig and Russ is an Ash! Don't know about the accuracy for us, but it was fun to find "our tree"!)
If you are a Christian writer and would like to submit an article in one of our categories, send it to HelenDowd@occupytillicome.online-ministries.com
Here's a useful directory for Irish Aussies:
Anything and everything you want to know.
Very informative site - almost as good as Irish Culture and Customs! (We took a look - thanks for the compliment, Trish!)
This week's quiz - who wrote:
1. The Definitive St. Patrick's Day Festivity Book
2. St. Patrick's Day With Mayor Daley and Other Things Too Good To Miss
3. St. Patrick's Daughter
Hint: all three titles can be found on amazon - please click here:
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
HOME PAGE - NEW OR REPUBLISHED FROM OUR INDEX THIS PAST WEEK:
Visit our Home Page:
1. St. Patrick's Day Around the World - 2003
2. Corned Beef & Cabbage - The Feeding of a Myth
3. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a Real Irish Feast
4. Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Old Ireland
5. I, Patrick, the Sinner
6. The Irish Kitchen: An Emerald Isle Menu for St. Patrick's Day
7. Basic Irish: Phrases and words for St. Patrick's Day & Lent
8. Circle of Prayer: Our fifth Novena in this cycle began on March 12 and continues through March 20. The 6th one will begin next Friday. If you would like to join us in daily prayer or meditation, please click:
9. Think You're Irish? Try our Trivia Contest!
All entries must be in by midnight, EST on March 31.
NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING:
Since this edition has already reached six or seven pages, let's just say we'll be doing our usual thing - news, history, a quote, a blessing and a new recipe. After Monday's festivities, we'll regroup and try to get back on track!
In the meantime, we wish for you and yours a glorious St. Patrick's Day Celebration; we also pray that the week will bring you and yours an abundance of God's blessings. May He protect you and keep you from all harm, and, as they say say in Ireland, mind yourself.
All the best,
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
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