LEWISTON — It’s St. Patrick’s Day!

Margaret Craven of Lewiston, a native of Ireland, says St. Patrick’s Day is “about fun.” She recommends everyone play Irish music, wear green and enjoy. Sun Journal photo by Bonnie Washuk

To celebrate like the Irish, music is essential, as is socializing, mingling and wearing something green, recommends Irish expert Margaret Craven.

Craven emigrated to the United States from Ireland at age 17. She grew up in Connemara, on the west coast not far from Galway.

Irish music is a must, she said. “It’s very uplifting.” Growing up in Ireland, “we’d go to Mass on Sunday, then everybody would get out an instrument and play. Music is what people did for entertainment. We were very poor, but we had all kinds of instruments.”

The Irish are big on talking. “They love to chat and tell stories,” Craven said. In Ireland everyone goes out to pubs, kids and all, and listens to music and talks. And laughs. “It’s stress relief,” Craven said.


Unlike their English neighbors, the Irish are extroverts. Historically, when invited to Kensington Palace, the Irish had trouble being reserved and acting proper. “It was hard for them to follow protocol,” Craven said. “They’d hug the queen or talk out loud.”

Even though St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, and Ireland is a Catholic country, the day is an exception to fasting, Craven said. People sang, danced and feasted. Feasting went on all day. 

And of course, it’s a day to wear green. Sometimes the Irish would pick a shamrock and pin it to their sweaters.

The green doesn’t have to stop with what you wear, she said. Celebrate by using green food coloring to make green eggs and ham, green pancakes, green beer and so on.

Give your worries a day off and enjoy.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: