March 17, 2015

Other Irish Things for St. Patrick's Day Besides Drinking

So you're going to do some drinking today? Awesome, enjoy it!

And if you're also inclined to celebrate St Patty's Day with some alternate Irish hobbies, here are some suggestions:

1) Golf

Golf was invented in Scotland hundreds of years ago, and it's no surprise that their Irish neighbors share an interest. Rory McIlroy, the current No 1 ranked golfer, hails from Holywood in Northern Ireland. If you're south of the Mason Dixon line, things are getting warm enough to venture out onto the links. If you're in the northern reaches of the States, maybe bring a hot Irish Coffee with you.

2) Knitting & Weaving

Weaving was considered so important in Ireland that as early as year 600 AD, women were entitled to keep all of their weaving accessories in the case of a divorce. Tweeds were popular (and still trend in and out) as well as Irish Linen, but one of the most famous Irish knit products is the famous Aran knit sweater, from the Aran Islands off of the west coast of Ireland. You can still purchase high quality wool garments that were created in the region. 

3) Irish Dancing

There's a good chance you'll be dancing anyway, but you can embarrass yourself even more by trying some traditional Irish dances. There's the well-know Irish Step Dancing, which is often what you think of when you think of Irish dancing. This is the dance where the feet move very fast and the upper body is very still. But there are also "Jig" style dances called "ceili", which are Irish social dances. These are an always-evolving tradition. 

4) Read (Write?) Some Poetry

Ireland has, at times, had a rough and tumble history, and has an epic history of poets to go along with it. 

WB Yeats

ALL the heavy days are over;
Leave the body's coloured pride
Underneath the grass and clover,
With the feet laid side by side.

One with her are mirth and duty;
Bear the gold-embroidered dress,
For she needs not her sad beauty,
To the scented oaken press.

Hers the kiss of Mother Mary,
The long hair is on her face;
Still she goes with footsteps wary
Full of earth's old timid grace.

With white feet of angels seven
Her white feet go glimmering;
And above the deep of heaven,
Flame on flame, and wing on wing

- WB Yeats

Some of the most famous Irish poets include WB Yeats and Seamus Heany.

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