Monday, March 17, 2008

Tabhair póg dom, táim Éireannach*

A few fun Irish facts to help you celebrate St. Patrick's Day...

An Irish birthday tradition is to lift the birthday child upside down and give his head a few gentle bumps on the floor for good luck. The number of bumps should correspond to the child’s age plus one.

Catherine Kelly, who died in 1785, was allegedly the smallest Irish woman ever. With a total height of just 34 inches and a weight of 8 pounds, she was known as “The Irish Fairy.”

Aran Island sweaters have a variety of "family weaves." When a fisherman drowned, his sweater would wash up on shore. His family could identify who was lost by the sweater's weave.

The Irish in Ireland don't wear green ties, hats or other green clothes on St. Patrick's Day. They're way more subtle than us and just put a tasteful sprig of shamrock in their lapel.

In some parts of scenic Ireland, mobile phone towers have been designed in the shape of trees, to blend into the Irish landscape.

In 1850 a gentleman by the name of Fulmuth Kearney made the journey from Ireland, to the United States. One of the huddled masses, he prospered and his line flourished. His great great grand daughter gave birth to a boy, who she named Barack. It's possible that Senator Obama of Illinois could join the estimated 40% of American presidents who claim some Irish heritage.

The wolfhound is the official dog of Ireland. It's the largest of all dogs and can be up to six foot four when standing on its hind legs.

My favorite Irish quote: "It was a bold man who ate the first oyster." (Jonathan Swift)

My favorite Irish proverb: “A man is incomplete until he marries. Then he is finished.”

* Kiss Me I'm Irish


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