America’s gone green–no, not economically–but culturally. The fighting Irish are showing their true colors this St. Patrick’s day, and they are celebrating countless traditions.
These traditions started in Ireland countless years ago. Traditions such as corned beef are
a bit ‘Americanized,’ the real food focus is on Potatoes, one of Ireland’s staple food products since the dark ages.
The Pooka (or Puca), a fictional creature that takes the shape as a black horse, is a common topic to discuss. His mischief is beyond compare, and he is known for trampling crops and causing misery to small towns. Also known to take terrifying shapes such as a horned goblin, it inflicts fear upon farmers and apparently demands his share. Irelandseye.com mentions that Farmers in Ireland to this day still leave small strands of their harvest behind in payment to the Pooka out of a small superstition.“This creature is the Pooka. Pay no mind to the shape he wears, for he’s none of his own, and no soul either. Ware him ever, trust him never, but when the wind’s right he has his uses. Never forget that you will never know him. The Pooka’s mystery even to the Pooka,” says Peter S. Beagle. He is the author of many fantasy fiction novels featuring Celtic mythical creatures.
As an iconic figure to Irish tradition, the Leprechaun remains at the top of the mythical movies list. Many movies, including Leaping Leprechauns, depict stories of their mischief and lives as they interact with their environments. They use their magic to steal food,
Not all traditions are based on quirky creatures; in fact some are based on historical events, such as Feiseanna. According to Celticdance.com, this festival symbolizes the end of
the Viking raids on Ireland around 1014, and is a massive cultural and political event. Now abbreviated as Feis, it is a Irish step dance competition that has made its way over to America as well. Michael Flatley, the creator and producer of Lord of the Dance, commented passionately on his dancing in his brief biography, “I can go back to when I was six years old, I was always getting in trouble for dreaming, and the things I got in trouble for dreaming then are the things I’m doing today.”
The Lord of the Dance is a dance performance that Americans continue to enjoy throughout the years, along with Riverdance. Riverdance has also been transferred into an ice show. The Celtic traditions carry on throughout the years.