ST PATRICK’S DAY IN BOSTON

Boston’s association with the Irish is well-known…I mean, their basketball team is the Celtics, right? But back home in the Midwest I just assumed it was a past association, that there were just lots of decedents of Irish immigrants in the city. There are. A lot. But there are a lot of actual Irish people here to…pretty cool!

Who doesn’t like an Irish brogue? (This isn’t really another accents post…promise.)St Patrick's Day Leprechaun

Well, maybe just for a second because I really do love a brogue! Doesn’t matter whose voice it is, male or female, it’s a lovely sound. And still rather novel for me too…I get a real kick out hearing one every time. The other day I was buying groceries and was advised my total was “Terty tree dollars even!” Or how about the old man in front of me at the pharmacy, who was clearly a regular; just eavesdropping on his brief conversation with the pharmacist, made my afternoon.

Did I mention Irish pubs? They are everywhere, in all cities, I know…but here, they are everywhere! According to Boston Discovery Guide there are over 100 Irish pubs in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area. They also report that over 20% of Boston’s population claims some Irish ancestry, making it the most Irish city in the U.S.!

St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in Boston. Duh.

Boston Public Schools get March 17 off. Yeah I know, it’s for Evacuation Day, the day the British left Boston in 1776 during the Revolutionary War. An auspicious day…and a…coincidence? Hmmm…

When I was younger I didn’t like St. Patrick’s Day. I thought it was unfair. Why don’t other nationalities have special days we all celebrate? Why should I be pinched for not wearing green? I went so far as to make a protest shirt (yep, those are iron-on letters), seen here with my boyfriend at the time, who is thoroughly Irish!

St Patrick's Day attire

My attitude changed over time and now I enjoy the Eire references all over town. I love Celtic music, and listen to A Celtic Sojourn on NPR on Saturday afternoon if I’m in the car between 3-6 pm.

Here are some of the sights around Boston at this time of year…and some you can see any day of the year!

St Patrick's Day Mums

My local grocery store dresses up mums for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day…all the major holidays! Ha!

The Burren, Somerville, MA

Roisin Dubh, Boston, MA

The pubs around here are pretty cool. The Burren is in Somerville, and The Black Rose (Roisin Dubh) is downtown, near Faneuil Hall.

St. Patrick's Day food

It’s not just about alcohol in Boston! Ever heard of Kerrygold? It may very well be available in Michigan, but I hadn’t heard of it until I moved here. It’s supposed to be the best butter around, and as you can see here, they also make cheese. These products are available year-round, but are gathered together for a seasonal display. (I notice someone decided against the lentil soup and added it to the grouping. Too bad I didn’t notice before I took the picture!)

St. Patrick's Day dessert

Offerings at my favorite bakery, Sugar.

Eat with Jack 0'Neill, West Roxbury, MA

One of my local haunts is flying the flag this week. Actually it’s not uncommon to see the orange and green flying outside of homes and businesses on any given day.

St. Patrick's Day flag

Really, every day is St. Patrick’s Day in Boston! There are so many permanent Irish fixtures around town.

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or another special ethnic holiday? Tell me about it in the comments below! Slainte!

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One thought on “ST PATRICK’S DAY IN BOSTON

  1. I just want to say that people are more open minded today than when I was growing up. Back then apparently to be Irish or English was just the most acceptable nationality. With the last name of Silaski most people thought I was Polish but we’re Serbian. Kids would say “Syrian?” … no Serbian, back then a part of Yugoslavia, I would have to explain that Yugoslavia was a country in EUROPE! FRUSTRATING! They were just obviously not up on their geography. Then there were those who would say, “you’re Polish but you don’t want to admit it”! If I were Polish I would proudly say so and be done with it. Sorry, it looks like I’m venting but this was a form of bullying that stuck with me and made me feel inferior to have ancestors from Slavic counties in Eastern Europe rather than ancestors from Western Europe. I’m sorry Christina if this might have rubbed off on you back in the day. I do not have prejudices and I wouldn’t want my children to. What goes around comes around … now my family’s name is Branham which is an English name and I can be proud of both names! 🙂

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