Irish Cheer: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is a fun time of year, especially here in Billings with our downtown St. Patrick's Day parade and Celtic Fair coming up this weekend, March 14, 2015, and other Celtic performances throughout the month of March. In our house St. Patrick's Day is an exciting time, not only because it brings with it the baking and decorating of shamrock cookies to share, getting to dress up in green and celebrating the wonderful Irish culture, but also because I'm an Irish dance teacher.

I've taught for 12 years and every year when St. Paddy’s Day nears it brings opportunities for my group to not only dance for the St. Patrick's Day Street Fair but to serve our community. Throughout the year we dance wherever and whenever opportunity lends itself; be it school demonstrations or other community activities, we’re there! But during March we have the chance to dance for our community's seniors as much as our schedule allows. Not only is it a great opportunity to celebrate the Irish culture, but it provides the opportunity to take the time to visit and come together with these individuals.

This quote by Barbra Jordan (Former Texas Congresswoman) really resonates with me and sharing the arts-

"The arts are not a frill. The arts are a response to our individuality and our nature, and help to shape our identity. What is there that can transcend deep difference and stubborn divisions? The arts. They have a wonderful universality. Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many languages without a translator. The arts do not discriminate. The arts can lift us up."

This St. Patrick's Day may we celebrate more than just being able to drink green beer, dressing in our zaniest green garb, and pretending we're Irish for a few days. May the magical Irish culture that enraptures us all with joy and merriment have us reaching out and grabbing a hand to celebrate with one another. Let’s keep the cheer alive by taking the time to connect with those around us, sharing our talents. Whether it’s the art of cooking and sharing a meal with someone, the art of hospitality and helping out a friend, or using your gift of music to bring joy to others, or maybe even stepping out and doing something for someone without being asked. As this old Irish blessing says:

May you always have work for your hands to do.

May your pockets hold always a coin or two.

May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.

May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.

May the hand of a friend always be near you.

And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Happy St. Patrick's day to you and yours- Erin go bragh!

About the author…Rebekah is a dance teacher, mother of 2 and creative soul. She enjoys cooking, baking and creating with fabric and paper.