June 16 is Bloomsday (also Blooms Day) in Dublin, but it’s not a spring or solstice festival and it has nothing to do with Irish wildflowers.
Irish wildflowers © Jenny Seawright
No, Bloomsday honours Leopold Bloom, who spent a day traipsing through the streets of Dublin on June 16, 1904—in James Joyce’s classic novel Ulysses.
Each year on Bloomsday, Joyce lovers retrace the steps of the fictional characters Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus. Many old landmarks remain, …Read more
I’m tired of these @#$%! snakes on these #$%@$! Irish plains! – St. Patrick, 433 AD
When the going gets tough, the tough go green. And the hard times haven’t dimmed the green glow (or watered down the green beer) of St. Patrick’s Day from the Emerald Isle to North America.
For a run-down of the slave-turned-priest who we celebrate today, check out last year’s St. Patrick’s Day post: Green is …Read more
March 17 Everyone knows where the world-famous Saint Patrick is from. Scotland.
That’s right. Patrick was a wee lad by the name of Succat living in Scotland when he was kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16 ["Kidnapped by pirates is good!" - Fred Savage, The Princess Bride] and sold as a slave. In Ireland he herded a Celtic chieftain’s sheep for six years, until one day he ran away and traveled 200 miles across Ireland to escaped to …Read more
Today the Irish are as inseparable from the American identity as the stars on the red, white, and blue. But at one time the Irish were as discriminated against as any ethnic group. Immigrants who had crossed the Atlantic, fleeing the Emerald Isle’s deadly potato famine in the 1840s soon learned what N.I.N.A. stood for–No Irish Need Apply.
The wave of German and Irish-Catholic immigration in the mid 19th century was met with an equal …Read more