Originally published in Angel’s column at Examiner.com
Here’s wishing the luck of the Irish to you on this Saint Patrick’s Day! Although not always associated with love like it’s counter, Saint Valentine’s Day, this Irish holiday has deep Celtic love roots of it’s own.
Saint Patrick is one of Ireland’s most famous Saints. He was born around 385 and made famous that lucky little clover we all love, The Shamrock. Patrick used the shamrock in his preachings to explain the Holy Trinity. So, while we celebrate in our most American of ways here in Atlanta by turning every liquid we can look at and ingest green, lets not forget other famous Irish expressions of love.
Kiss me I’m Irish! This call to action by redheads world wide actually comes from an Irish folklore about the Blarney Stone. Kissing the Blarney Stone (which coincidentally is located in… you guessed it, The Blarney Castle in Blarney Ireland) is thought to bring the smooching giver the gift of gab; defined as having skills with flattery. Everyone knows that the more skill you can acquire in the flattery department the more likely you are to be making that smacking sound with someone you desire. You can’t just kiss the stone in any way you like. In order to achieve the gift of gab you must bend over backwards with your head upside down while your lips touch the stone. This usually requires an assistant to hold you around the waist while you do this. I am not making this up. Visualize that setup in your head and you tell me what the Irish had in mind!
The saying, “Kiss me I’m Irish” came from the belief that if you couldn’t make it to Ireland to kiss the actual stone, then you could find someone of Irish descent to kiss instead. Sounds like a good racquet for redheaded Irishmen for at least one day a year!
Lets also not forget that everlasting symbol of love, friendship and loyalty; the Claddagh Ring. This ring originates from the Irish fishing village Claddagh. The ring has two hands coming together to hold a heart with a crown. Worn with the point inward towards your heart symbolizes you are spoken for. However, worn with the heart pointing away from yours means you are good for the taking and on the lookout for something to kiss, stone or otherwise! These rings are mostly popular with pre-teenage girls. On this particular day however, the day of adornment for Saint Patrick, you can get away with slipping that little ring on your hand no matter what your age or gender. Besides, most people will be so full of green beer they won’t remember you were wearing it. Perhaps the only thing they will remember is your kiss!
So, if you are in Atlanta head over to Fado’s Irish Pub tonight. If you are in another city, any Irish pub will do. Slip on your Claddagh, use that shamrock like mistletoe (another famous Saint reference there) and find someone lucky to kiss. If they happen to be Irish you are seriously lucky! If they aren’t Irish, well you can tell them you thought they were after you get your smooch!