I'm allowed break with blog schedule for Patrick's Day, I have decided!
It's strange to think that the national day of my tiny little wet country will be celebrated in so many places today.
This is a public holiday in Ireland so I am off work! Children have the day off school, and traditionally Irish Catholics are allowed to break their Lenten vow.
Irish children tend to insist that they are 'giving up sweets' for Lent. Maybe today's kids are more disciplined but we certainly never stuck to it! For any kids - or grown-ups - who lasted this far, Patrick's Day was a nice time to indulge oneself. This year, St. Patrick's Day falls very close to the start of Lent (Easter is as late as it can be this year) so it's not as good, but I don't think anyone will be turning their nose up at a pint or a bar of chocolate today :)
Every year, most of our government ministers travel abroad to present shamrock to various important people, press the flesh, and raise awareness about Ireland. Irish people mostly dislike this, because our taxes pay for those trips and the country is almost bankrupt.
But we have something to be happy about this year. Last year, 22 members of government travelled abroad for St. Patrick's Day. This year, our new government have said this will be severely curtailed and only 8 ministers will travel abroad to key trade partners. Don't worry, the US is still one of them! A definite step in the right direction - or a nice gesture, depending on your perspective.
Happy St. Patrick's Day :)