It’s Paddy’s Day and we hope you’ve got the shamrock at the ready! Here’s a little round up of some of the fun and feasting of this great day:
PORK AND PADDY’S DAY
We will also assume there will be some feasting involved in your Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations. Grub plays a big part in this day, and has done since days gone by. It’s the one day during Lent when fasting restrictions were lifted, so families could enjoy a bigger meal to celebrate the Saint.
Although meat was not allowed during the rest of Lent, that rule would be broken on Saint Patrick’s Day. Pork in some form very often featured. In rural areas, most families would rear two pigs. Firstly, it’s well known that pigs love one another’s company and get very sad if reared alone. So two pigs would be kept, roaming outdoors and fed on kitchen scraps, one for home use and one for the market. In some households, the pig would be known as ‘the gentleman who paid the rent.’
On Saint Patrick’s Day, the lady of the house may cook a joint of pork or bacon. Fresh pork was considered a luxury meat for celebrations. But if there was none available, home cured bacon was cooked instead. There would often be home-grown cabbage and always potatoes. Yummy. You can try our wonderful Bacon and Cabbage recipe from Executive Chef Ed Cooney of The Merrion Hotel. Good today or any day of the year!
Parades are a big part of today and we’re imagining you will be bound to be going to one near you. There are lots taking place all around the country. Big colourful city centre parades in Dublin and Cork are worth a visit if you are in either destination this Saint’s Day. Small parades also take place in every town and village in Ireland. These help to focus on the local social groups and charities which make each place tick and give it unique personality. We are always made fully aware of how diverse and interesting every town, village and city in Ireland really is, when we look back on the photographs of all the parades which take place on Saint Patrick’s Day.
On a world scale, the cities where Irish communities live also celebrate with us today. The biggest parade on the planet takes place in New York. It lasts over several hours and features Irish dancers, and other Irish groups, parading on foot. First established in the 1760’s by Irish soldiers in the city. There are many other parades in cities with large Irish communities in the USA, including Boston and Chicago.
TOASTING THE SAINT
Saint Patrick’s Pot or ‘Pota Phadraig’ will no doubt be partaken of today! You might enjoy a tot of Irish whiskey, which would be typical of times of old. The non-drinkers and those sticking to the Lenten abstinence may also have drunk home produced fruit or flower cordials made from produce harvested in summer. In the modern day, these cordials have made a comeback. May we recommend Richmount Elderflower Cordial or Mr Jeffares’s Blackcurrant Cordial. Two pure hand-made Irish cordials produced from foraged and farmed ingredients that really echo the simple life of times gone by.
We’d like to wish all our readers the very best of the luck of the Irish today. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Slainte!