Reader Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Books and Traditions


Also called other names, including Feast of Saint Patrick, Saint Patrick’s Day has been celebrated since 1631. Known for its parades, green shamrocks, wearing of green, feasting, and drinking Irish beer or whiskey, St. Patrick’s Day was originally established to honor Saint Patrick who had lived 12 centuries earlier. It was intended as a day for Christians to have a break from Lent and its abstinence. The church did admit in the 1720s that it “got kind of out of control.”

So today, let’s talk about books, traditions, and experiences of St. Patrick’s Day.

Google listed about 30 books that included St. Patrick’s Day.

  1. What books have you written or read that included St. Patrick’s Day?
  2. What traditions do you, your family, or friends observe on St. Patrick’s Day?
  3. What interesting events have you experienced on St. Patrick’s Day?

 May the luck of the Irish enfold you!




If the forces that seek to divide us were to put you in the Green Group, what would your ethnicity be?

United We Stand, Dude! is currently available on Amazon for $0.99.


37 thoughts on “Reader Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Books and Traditions

  1. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    I’ll be wearing green, of course.

    Hubby and I will be going to Fiddler’s Green, our neighborhood pub (featured on the food channel, travel channel, one or both of those) for good Celtic music, Irish dancers, and food.

    • Wonderful, Cynthia. Fiddler’s Green sounds interesting. You’re even sporting a last name that Google tells me originated in Ireland. Is that correct?

      Thanks for reminding me of the Celtic music. That’s my favorite part of the day. (We live a pretty boring life at the O’Hooley household.)

      Wishing you the luck of the Irish!

      • Thank you! This spelling is Irish, Hubby’s actual clan is MacLennan from Scotland. His people are from the Highlands. My Grandpa Bassett also has Irish roots and our son’s name is Ryan Patrick. We take luck seriously in this house.

  2. No particular plans other than checking that I’m wearing something green. 😎 Have a great day, all.

    • Top of the morning to you, BK.

      Yes, something green. I looked at my shirt and pants this morning and didn’t see any green. I grabbed a green pen.

      I hope your day brings some unexpected green. Have a good one.

  3. Steve, I watched a short video with Ray Bradbury yesterday, during which he mentioned that while in the library he often wandered into the children’s book area to find something purely fun to read. When I used the Look Inside feature to read a bit of United We Stand, Dude I was hooked. What a fun story! And who can beat the price? I scrolled down and bought all six. Now, when I’m not writing, I intend to forget everything and go play with you and your friends in the Mad River Vallley. I hope it’s all right that I’m some distance removed from being 18. (grin)

    Oh, St. Paddy’s Day—um, er, frankly, if not for others mentioning it on occasion, I would have forgotten it was approaching. However, I do own a set of Guinness pint glasses, and Jameson & Sons Irish and I are old crime-fightining, adventure-slinging acquaintances.

    • Wow, Harvey. Thanks! You made my day. You’re always welcome to come join the Mad River Magic group in their adventures. You’re never too old if you’re young at heart, and you can join “Gramps” (me) as we try to keep the group from doing anything too outrageous.

      I like the way you characterize your writing process with recording what your characters are doing and saying. I’m trying more and more to let my characters take over.

      And as for St. Paddy’s Day, I forgot, too. I had another blog post written, started to edit it, looked at the calendar, and slammed on the brakes.

      Have a wonderful day, Harvey. And thanks for making mine.

  4. I used to wear green to school so I wouldn’t get pinched. Who ever came up with that idea? St. Pat’s is a big deal around Butte, Montana because of all the Irish immigrants who came here to work in the hard rock gold and silver mines. Before 2020, Butte boasted one of the largest parties and parades in the West. When we moved here from Arizona, we decided our tradition would be to *not* go into town on St. Pat’s to avoid the crowds and drunk drivers. Some people had already started partying yesterday.

    • Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, Michelle.

      I just came from Google, and it says that pinching started in the 1700s, is entirely American in origin, and refers to those who wear green being invisible to the leprechauns, who like to pinch those they can see.

      I’m with you on avoiding crowds and drunk drivers. I’ll turn on some Celtic music and sip my coffee.

      May your troubles be less and your blessings be more. Have a peaceful day.

      • I always felt like, since I had a “pinky full” of Irish in me, I shouldn’t have had to wear green to not be pinched. Lol.

  5. Good morning, Steve, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

    I have no literary marks for St. Patrick’s Day, but I will try to make time to watch The Fugitive with Harrison Ford, for that wonderful scene where Dr. Richard Kimble evades capture by inserting himself into Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

    Tradition? I always tell the same two jokes:

    What’s Irish and sits out in the rain? Patty o’Furniture!

    What’s green and has an a-hole on each end? A St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

    Memory? Getting royally hammered with a lady on St. Patrick’s Day 1987 and then driving her back to her house in the country. I had to pull over and stop by the side of the road when her stomach rebelled. A sheriff’s cruiser pulled up behind us but when he saw what was going on he kept going. Good thing, too. It took me another four years to figure out that I shouldn’t be drinking.

    Have a great weekend, Steve!

    • Good morning, Joe. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you.

      I had forgotten the St. Patrick’s Day parade in The Fugitive. I need to watch that movie again.

      I like your Irish jokes, and I’m glad you finally realized drinking wasn’t for you. I had a lot of abuse in Emergency Rooms by inebriated patients, and I quickly learned that I wanted no part of it.

      “May your troubles be less and your blessings be more,
      And nothing but happiness come through your door.”

      Have a good, green one!

    • Top o’ the morning to you, Debbie.

      Thanks for the introduction and link to River With No Bridge. That book is one I’m putting on my TBR list.

      You are correct. No one has mentioned corned beef and cabbage. So please tell us about it and how it relates to St. Patrick’s Day.

      “May peace and plenty bless your world
      With a joy that long endures
      And may all life’s passing seasons
      Bring the best to you and yours.”

      Wishing you a Happy St. Paddy’s!

  6. My brother was a St. Pat’s Board Representative at the University of Missouri/Rolla. St. Pat is the patron saint of engineers. The St. Pat’s Board paints the center stripe through downtown green. This means placing a mug of beer every stripe as well. Little bro was also on a champion quarter barrel chug team.

    My favorite comes from St. Louis having two St. Pat’s parades. The big one through downtown, it is on the weekend. It was Saturday. The other is put on by the Irish community. It is on St. Pat’s Day. It will start shortly. If the 17th is a Wednesday, they march on Wednesday. It goes through the old Irish neighborhood near Forest Park.

    One year, someone robbed the bank on the edge of the Irish neighborhood. He ran. He then discovered that a parade needs a lot of police officers. Then he discovered the rich Irish tradition of working in law enforcement. His robbery did not go as planned.

    • Great stories, Alan.

      I liked that green stripe through Rolla. I bet a lot of those mugs were being emptied before the St. Pats Board finished putting them all down. And the robber in St. Louis was obviously not Irish.

      “Time is a great storyteller.”

      Thank for the stories, Alan.

  7. I was born and raised in Savannah, GA, where St. Patrick’s Day was taken very seriously. Big parade, lots of beer drinking and carousing. For some years, the city actually dyed the Savannah River green. (I don’t think they do that any more.)

    I have a book club meeting today and we’ve been told to wear green. We’re reviewing a delightful book, West With Giraffes which is not Irish at all.

    As for the Mad River gang and all your books, Steve, “May good luck be with you wherever you go, and your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.”

    • Thanks, Kay!

      I didn’t know about your connection with Savannah. My son went to the Savannah College of Art and Design. From some of the things I overheard (and was probably not supposed to have heard) there was probably a lot of celebrating going on in between St. Patrick’s days. It’s a beautiful place. My son loved it so much (or wasn’t eager to go to work) that he talked me into letting him stay an additional year to get a second major.

      Thanks for your good wishes for the Mad River Magic Books.

      “May peace and plenty bless your world
      With a joy that long endures
      And may all life’s passing seasons
      Bring the best to you and yours.”

  8. Happy St. Catty’s Day. Today is also St. Gertrude Day, and she’s the patron saint of cats– the very first crazy cat lady. I’d rather celebrate her.

    I don’t have a drop of Irish blood, and the Irish who migrated to NC in the 1700s to escape religious persecution were Protestants so no personal historic ties to the holiday. These days, it’s just an excuse to get drunk for some, and I don’t drink.

    • Happy St. Catty’s Day and St. Gertrude Day, Marilynn. A double holiday for cats. Purr – fect.

      I love these blogs. You’all teach me so much. I had never heard of this cat holiday. So what do cat lovers do today to celebrate cats? And how many cats do you have? Any special stories?

      May your blessings outnumber
      The Shamrocks that grow.
      And may trouble avoid you
      Wherever you go.

      • I’m now catless. After Mr Kitty died, I decided I would remain catless because of my age.

        St Gertrude of Nivelles is St. Catty, a play on St. Patty. I learned about her from the wonderful cartoon “Breaking Cat News” (GoComics. com) where the cat characters celebrate her every year.

  9. 🍀 Despite the last name, I am, like Hagan, the consigliere in “The Godfather,” German-Irish. The resemblance ends there. I am an engineer, however.
    🍀 My grandfather’s name was Patrick. Many lovers of alcohol on that side of the family, few on my father’s side. Just lucky. My second drink had half the effect of the first one, a week earlier. I took that as a warning.
    🍀 Q: Why did St. Patrick drive the snakes out of Ireland? A: His car wouldn’t hold all the lawyers.
    🍀 Q: Who is the most famous Irishman in California history? A: Juniper O’Serra.
    🍀 Q: What is green and is found out on the front lawn on March 18th? A: Patty O’Furniture, again.
    🍀 Our son fixes corned beef and cabbage around St. Patrick’s Day. Other than that, we might as well be Orangemen. I’ve lost my green shamrock tie.
    🍀 Fr. Flynn was famous for working anti-English rants into his sermons. Bishop O’Rourke called him downtown on the carpet and told him he was offending all the foine English people in his parish. Flynn agreed to cease his rants. But O’Rourke thought the auld boy had given in too quickly and decided to check up on him. He put on a business suit and sat behind a pillar at Flynn’s church that next Sunday, just before Easter. When Flynn read the gospel, it went like this:
    “…Then Jaysus said, ‘One of ye is about to betray me.’ And Peter said, ‘Is it I, Lord?’ And then Judas said, “Blimey, guv’nor! Is it I?'”

  10. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, JG. Thanks for your history and the jokes. I loved them, especially the ones about the snakes and Judas.

    “May peace and plenty bless your world
    With a joy that long endures
    And may all life’s passing seasons
    Bring the best to you and yours.”

  11. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am not wearing green, nor do we celebrate the holiday here. Honestly, The Kid just told me five minutes that it was St. Patrick’s Day. LOL

    I have wild memories of hanging in the South End on St. Patty’s Day, but those stories are best left off the internet. What happened in the ’80s, stays secret forever. 😉

    • Good afternoon, Sue. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

      I took my green pen out of my pocket, so I’m not wearing any green at the moment, either.

      Yes, the wild days of our youth. Mine were in the 70’s. There were more than a few things that I wish I could do over. But, I’ve always had to do things wrong three times before I got it right. I guess that applies to rough draft and editing, too.

      I hope your writing is going well and you’re keeping up that blazing fast pace.

      May your blessings outnumber
      The Shamrocks that grow.
      And may trouble avoid you
      Wherever you go.

      Thanks for stopping by, Sue!

  12. My mother’s birth name was Gallagher so I can claim the emerald Isle. In the spirit of the day I will read something by Liam O’Flaherty. The Informer is a good crime story.
    Tomorrow they will mark down the corned beef at the market so I will be a thrifty Gallagher and score one or two for the freezer.

    • Thanks for mentioning a book, Robert. I’ll check out The Informer. And I like your thriftiness. That’s a quality we should all seek to attain.

      “The best way to keep loyalty in a man’s heart is to keep money in his purse.”

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  13. I’m late to the party, as usual, Steve.

    SPD isn’t a big deal to me even though my paternal grandfather was born in Ireland. Ballymena is the town’s name. My dad (born in Canada in 1917) visited Ballymena when he was on leave serving in England during WW2. He snooped around for relatives and asked a shopkeeper if she knew of any surname Rodgers in town. She replied, “Well, there’s an old man Rodgers who lives down the road, but he’s been dead for two years.”

    BTW, my kids did a genealogy tree and found we’re blood relatives with the actor Liam Neeson who hails from Ballymena.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Garry. You’re never late. Sorry for my slow response.

      Interesting story about your relatives from Ballymena, and Liam Neeson. Maybe he can help you sell a movie script to one of the production companies.

      I hope you had a good St. Patrick’s Day, and have a great weekend.

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