Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here I am, back by popular demand! Well, no, not really, although Amanda did send an email asking when I planned to start blogging again. However, since St. Patrick's Day is one of my favourite holidays, it seemed a good time to come out of hibernation. So here are some facts about St. Patrick's Day you might not have known.

- St. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland. However, he was not Scottish, but rather a Roman.

- The first St. Patrick's Day Parade was held in America. Some folk say that it was in 1737 in Boston, and that the Charitable Irish Society put it on. Others say that it was held in New York City in 1762, and that it was Irish soldiers serving in the British army who were responsible.

- On March 16, 1793, George Washington’s General Order to his troops granted St. Patrick’s Day to be a holiday.

- St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, due to the high number of Irish refugees who settled there.

- In Great Britain, shamrocks are traditionally distributed to the Irish Guards by the Queen. This year, however, they were presented by Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

- St. Patrick's uncle was St. Martin of Tours, the Roman soldier who gave part of his cloak to our Lord, who was disguised as a beggar.

I always go all-out in the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. I usually wear this:

It is a very beautifully pleated kilted skirt, in a colour I refer to as 'saffron, and my sisters call orange. This particular outfit is based off the Irish Guards pipers' uniforms. This year, I also decided to wear shamrocks in my hair. To my great dismay, I could not find any convincing artificial shamrocks, nor even clover, to wear, and so fell back on making my own. It was surprisingly easy, and they turned out surprisingly real-looking.

All you need is some stiff green paper for the leaves, ordinary white copier paper for the blossoms, and some wire for the stems:

It doesn't show up very well in the pictures, but I have drawn shamrock shapes on the green paper. I cut them out, and gently shape them:

Then I punch a small whole in the center with a push pin, place a large dollop of Elmer's glue over the whole, and thread the wire through, curling the end slightly so it does not pull out:

For the blossoms, curl the paper around itself to form a very small cone:

Flatten the cones, and then fold them in to thirds:

Cut them into petal shapes:

Carefully unfold the paper:

Put a large dollop of glue in the center of the flowers, tread the stems through, and shape the petals a bit to make them look natural:

And here is the finished result:

Of course, the day is also celebrated with corn beef and cabbage, Irish coffees, and listening to Irish folk music - the Clancy Brothers usually, since they are my favourites. However, the Wolfe Tones are quite good too. Here they are singing Hail Glorious St. Patrick:

1 comment:

Amy said...

LOVE the hair shamrocks. :-) Awesome. I'll have to try that out. Lovely post. My, you always manage to dig up the most interesting, obscure facts!