As we move ever closer to the start of March, excited for the warming sun and the promise of spring that comes with that month, we also can look forward to a spirited holiday. And with just a couple of weeks to go before St. Patrick's Day arrives, this seems like an opportune time to focus some attention on that particular holiday.
Since we all know how swiftly time moves these days, we also know that it really won't be long before March 17 is here and with it the fun and spirit of the Emerald Isle. Though this celebration of Ireland's patron saint arrives a few days before spring, it certainly feels more like a party for that season with its charming images of leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold.
Verdant shamrocks decorating everything from windows to websites, people sporting every hue of green — these are the images that contribute to a vibrant landscape far more synonymous with the blooming season yet to come, than the often dreary, often miserable one soon to be fading away for another year. After winter's monochromatic palette and our penchant to cocoon through it, is there any wonder that we can be enlivened by the notion of a lively celebration on the horizon?
In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is more of a religious event. In other places though, grownups in green gather in pubs to sip beer of the same lush hue and sample traditional Irish fare, while listening to the flutes and fiddles of Celtic entertainers. In certain cities around the world the day is marked by festivities and parades enjoyed by many, regardless of ethnicity or culture.
My childhood memories of the holiday are simple, yet again carry with them the hint of this being the right occasion to usher out winter. There is such a lively vibe surrounding St. Patrick's Day that even a child must notice the sense of spring awakening that accompanies it.
Harking back to my good old school days, I recall that prior to March 17, classmates and I (with much excitement about a holiday to which few of us could lay any legitimate ancestral claim) worked on little projects to decorate the schoolroom and Mom's bulletin board. Clipping shamrocks to hang from strings put spring in the air, in contrast to the dirty mounds of snow that lingered outside the windows.
More shamrocks were found in charming images that also included impish leprechauns and pretty rainbows. Crayons in hand we delighted in bringing all the colours of the spectrum, as well as multitudinous shades of green, to fill in the space between the outlines. Many pleasant school hours were spent colouring St. Patrick's Day images with enthusiasm.
As this particular childhood memory fills my mind in the weeks coming up to our favourite Irish celebration, here are some terrific colouring pages for the occasion: