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Beannacht na feile Padrig oraibh

(May the Blessings of St. Patrick be with you)

Today I looked out my office window upon hearing the raucous voices of children and saw two young girls sitting in the boulevard between the sidewalk and the street plucking clover from my easement.  Each of them had a handful of greenery as big as a nosegay. They reminded me of a ritual I do every time I see a patch of clover—I look for the lucky four-leafed ones.

Considering there are 10,000 of the three leafed varieties for each lucky four-leafed clover I feel blessed to have found as many four-leafed clovers as I have. The pictures you see on the blog are part of my collection. Since 1987, when I began mounting my finds, I have found 35 four-leaf clovers (several of them in one day) and three five-leaf clovers, which appeared after we fertilized our yard one year. They were gigantic compared to the run-of-the-mill clovers that inhabited our weedy yard.

Seeing the girls rooting through my clover patch makes me want to search tomorrow, on St. Patrick’s Day, to see if luck is still with me.  I haven’t had much clover in my yards since 2003. So it’s time I looked again for some additions to my collection.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a fun quiz about St. Patrick’s Day. Answers are at the bottom of the blog, so don’t cheat!

  1. Was the first St. Patrick’s Day parade held in …
  • a. Ireland or
  • b. Boston?

2. Is the tradition of Drowning the Shamrock …

  • a. dunking the first Irishman you see on St. Paddy’s day in the river to ensure good luck or
  • b. floating a shamrock on top of whiskey and drinking it down in order to ensure a prosperous year?

3. Was the first St. Patrick’s Day parade held …

  • a. in 1737 or
  • b. right after Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland as a celebration for the feat?

4. Do the Irish (in Ireland) celebrate the holiday by …

  •  a. drinking green beer or
  • b. wearing carnations on their lapels?

5. Is the shamrock customarily worn …

  • a. on a hat or in the hair or
  • b. pinned on the lapel?

6. Do the four parts of the lucky shamrock stand for …

  • a.  hope, faith, love and luck, or
  •  b. attraction, lust, love and marriage?

7. Is St. Patrick’s Day really all about  …

  • a.  drinking green beer, eating green iced treats and pinching anyone who doesn’t wear green or
  • b. celebrating the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland?

And a final question that I’ve always wondered about and hope someone can answer for me—why does everyone claim to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day? If you know the answer please tell me.

Go mbeannai Dia duit (May God Bless You)

and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Answers to the quiz:

  1. b
  2. b
  3. a
  4. b
  5. b
  6. a
  7. b