March 17th is the religious feast day and anniversary of the death of St. Patrick and has been celebrated for over 1000 years. Toasting has been used to mark special occasions for hundreds of years and for the Irish, St. Patrick's Day has always been one of those special times. Irish folklore abounds with many inspirational quotes and songs about happiness, love and luck. These stories have throughout history helped the Irish people cope with their many difficulties in life. Many of these stories and songs have been turned into Irish blessings and toasts over the years. Here are a few for your St. Patrick's Day!
This one is probably the most famous and often used:
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again, may God
hold you in the palm of his hand.
May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire.
May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
And the shorter toasts;
May your home always be too small
to hold all your friends!
May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live!
May you be in Heaven
A half hour before the
Devil knows you're dead!
Cheers everyone! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Cead Mile Failte! (One hundred thousand welcomes!)