I have just enough Irish in my background to make St. Patrick’s Day real to me. I wanted to do a fun colorful episode, so St. Pat’s was the way to go. It turns out that I didn’t have a lot of relevant items around the house, so it was fun to shop a bit in preparation for the wearin’ of the green.
I find leprechauns fascinating, so I decided to focus primarily on them. Since I knew little about them, I had to research a bit. I didn’t know, for example, that the word ‘leprechaun’ means small body. I knew they could be grumpy, according to legend, and that they like to play tricks. I didn’t know that they are considered fairies, but that made me happy since I’m a big believer in fairies. I read a few stories about them and their mischievousness and had enough to present. I decided to begin the episode with information on St. Patrick’s Day and who celebrates it around the world. That was another eye-opener for me: I had no idea that upwards of 50 countries actually celebrate the day, including Japan, Russia, Australia, and Korea, or that those on board the International Space Station celebrate as well. I chose to avoid saying much about St. Patrick himself since little is known about him and the concept of sainthood is perhaps a bit over the heads of our young viewers. One curious fact that I wasn’t aware of is that St. Patrick isn’t actually a saint. He’s basically been declared one over the years, but has never officially been canonized by the Church. At any rate, I decided to focus on the celebrations and traditions of the day.
I read my poem about a leprechaun and then demonstrated a leprechaun trap I made last night. And the excitement I project over the thought of successfully catching a leprechaun is very real. Honest. I ended the episode by emphasizing that we remain respectful of the Irish culture in the midst of our fun. I read that the Irish are pretty sensitive about the drunkenness associated with St. Patrick’s Day, and I can understand that. I think it also rankles them a bit that so many people who aren’t Irish at all become Irish every March 17. But I think celebrations are good whenever they can happen. In the days of COVID, there probably won’t be as many parades and parties to celebrate the day, but we can certainly celebrate in our homes in small groups. And in our own Irish bubbles. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone, and wear that green proudly.