Saturday, March 3, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Symbols and Traditions

Have you ever wondered about the meaning behind the greeting
"Erin go bragh"
 that we often see on St. Patrick's Day?
The meaning is "Ireland for ever."  

The Irish immigrated to America
to escape poverty, disease and English oppression.
But coming to America was not a joyful event
because they knew they would never see Ireland again.

Although those who came loved America
 and described it as a land of opportunity,
they never gave up their allegiance to Ireland.

The postcards I am sharing today are not part of a series.
They were selected for this post
because they have several things in common. 

First, all depict a scene of the Irish countryside.
These cards would have been printed for the American market.  One Irish American would have sent the postcard to another
to refresh memories of their home land.

Second, the cards are rich in symbols.
St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland
and the shamrock plant was used
to explain the Holy Trinity.

Four-leaf clovers are also shown
and it is thought that finding one of these rare plants
leads to extremely good luck.
Each leaf of a four-leaf clover brings a different blessing:
hope, faith, love and happiness.

Clay pipes, called Dúidíns,  were manufactured
in the village of Knockcroghery, Ireland  for over 300 years.
Both men and women smoked the pipes
and they were an important part of an Irish wake ceremony.
The pipe was an inexpensive luxury for the poor
and demonstrated they had sufficient food
to be able to enjoy something extra in their life.

The color green became the national color
because of the green landscape that results
from the plentiful rain and mist that Ireland experiences.
Because of these lush landscapes,
Ireland was bestowed the nickname,
"Emerald Isle".

Antique Postcard from my Personal Collection
Postmarked Minnesota March 4, 1910

Antique Postcard from my Personal Collection
Postally Unused

Antique Postcard from my Personal Collection
Postally Unused

Antique Postcard from My Personal Collection
Postmarked Traverse City, Michigan March 18, 1912

St. Patrick's Day was traditionally a religious holiday commemorating the death of St. Patrick.
St. Patrick's Day as we now know it
with parades and celebrations was created in America
by Irish-Americans seeking to create bonds
within their Irish immigrant communities.

Until next time, live and love well.

Joining the Festivities at:
St. Patricks Day Party at A Holiday Haven
St. Patrick's Day Blessings at Scribbleprints
The Bunny Hop at Bunny Jean's Decor and More
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

This forum reveals random thoughts and reflections on topics of interest and events impacting the life of the founder of Doll in the Looking Glass.  Our boutique specializes in custom designed dolls that look like your child. We also design toddler and baby dolls that look real using vinyl doll components manufactured in Midland, Michigan USA by Apple Valley Doll Works.  The goal of Doll in the Looking Glass is to delight our customers with our creations.  We would love to create a special doll for you!


Shirley said...

Beautiful and festive St. Patrick's cards..I should look for a few of these when I go to the post card show this month..Very nice..

Chandy said...

Beautiful postcards! Wow!

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
Your postcards for St. Patrick's Day are Beautiful. Im your newest LINKY follow now.I hope you come follow my linky also. I also hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family.
XXOO Diane

Gale said...

A very interesting post! Would you like to add it at my St. Patrick's Day Linky (n link-back required)?

Red Rose Alley said...

I have always thought that the Irish were a jolly people. We were married 31 years ago by a happy Irish priest.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Love your collection of Irish postcards. I have some on my St. Patrick's Day tree...

Jessa Irene said...

What a thing it must have been for them to come here. This is a really moving post, makes me homesick for Ireland even though I am not from Ireland :). Thank you for joining the St. Patricks day party, I am sharing this post on pinterest and twitter too.

The French Hutch said...

A beautiful "Irish" post. A beautiful collection of vintage cards. A lovely way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

The French Hutch

JanMary @ said...

Those are fascinating.

I had about 5 great uncles and aunts who emmigrated to US from Ireland in the early 20th century - including my granny who was deported from Ellis Island back to N Ireland! She never returned to America.

Happy St Patrick's Day from N Ireland.

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