Thursday, March 16, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day, shamrocks are not clovers

A little know fact is that the first St. Patrick's day parade was held in NYC on March 17, 1762. In Ireland, mass gatherings was unlawful under British occupation, as the British army were afraid that they would lead to mass uprisings.
Early Irish settlers in NYC embraced their new found freedom by parading down NYC's Fifth Avenue. The annual parade also helped homesick people to bond and keep their cultural identity alive.

In Ireland, St. Patrick's day is more of an irish cultural day rather than an excuse for teenager to drink green beer! Sorry to burst your bubble but we do not wear green. Mea culpa, but we do not go around saying "top of the morning to you". Nope, no green hats but a nice Donegal tweed ivy cap looks good on everyone.

In any event, you do not want to anger the leprechauns (the little people) and their three leaf shamrocks.
Leprechauns hate 4 leaf clovers. Team trump may be messing with the wrong immigrants ;-)

Interesting article from the New York Times.


Shamrocks, like these, have three leaves. A four-leaf clover is often mistaken for the shamrock in the United States. CreditPeter Morrison/Associated Press 

St. Patrick’s Day will soon be upon us, and Team Trump would like you to know that for just $50 you can purchase a green “Make America Great Again” hat embroidered with a symbol that has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day.
The hats went on sale last week in advance of the holiday, celebrated on March 17, and had a four-leaf clover — instead of a three-leaf shamrock — stitched on the back. A four-leaf clover is not a symbol of Ireland. It is just a plant.
On Wednesday afternoon the hats disappeared from Mr. Trump’s online store. A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump did not respond to questions about why the hats were taken off the website.


Parade goers in Dublin in 2014. CreditPeter Morrison/Associated Press 

The original advertisements for the hat encouraged Mr. Trump’s supporters to “capture the luck of the Irish.”
Social media users, especially those in Ireland — where Mr. Trump is deeply unpopular — were quick to pounce, as was the news media there. The Irish Independent, a popular daily newspaper, described the four-leaf clover as “a sugary, oat piece that you’ll find in a box of Lucky Charms cereal” that “has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day or Ireland.”
Mixing up the number of leaves on a shamrock is an easy mistake to make, especially in the United States, where St. Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated even by people with no substantive connection to Ireland.
The Obama campaign made the same mistake in 2012, producing a line of Irish-themed campaign swag covered in four-leaf clovers (it soon reversed course.) Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, himself an Irish-American, used a four-leaf clover on Twitter last year. Even the Irish beer company Guinness is not immune: It used a four-leaf clover in a series of advertisements in Canada last year.
Niall O’Dowd, the publisher of several Irish-American media outlets, said these slip-ups were par for the course on St. Patrick’s Day in the United States, where some of the finer points of Irish culture often get lost in the green-tinged melee of parades and bar crawls. (In case you’re wondering why the shamrock is part of the holiday at all, legend has it that St. Patrick used its three leaves to illustrate the Holy Trinity in Christianity.
“That sort of things is so common,” Mr. O’Dowd said. “It’s not exactly earth-shattering that they’ve used a four-leaf clover.”
Another common misunderstanding is referring to the holiday as “St. Patty’s Day,” he said. (The Independent sneered about the American pronunciation: “St. Patty’s Day as they insist on calling it.”)
“Patty” is not the nickname used for a man named Patrick. It is the nickname used for a woman named “Patricia.” Men named Patrick — including the saint honored on March 17 — are referred to casually as “Paddy.” Like many Americans, the Republican Party made that mistake, too, in its advertisement for the Trump hat.
Mr. O’Dowd said he thought that misspelling was a forgivable offense.
“If you listen to an Irish accent it does sound like ‘Patty’s Day,’” he said. “People get offended by it, but I think it’s one of those things that gets overblown. People’s intent is noble, and that’s just how the word sounds to them.”

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