Saturday, March 17, 2012

Go raibh míle maith agat!

St. Patrick, celtic legends and traditions: the 4-leaf clover :: All Pretty Things
For a long time now I've had a fascination with Celts and their rich history and legends. I have good friends - Scottish and Irish - and I asked them how come their music and stories are more on the sad side, at least more than in other cultures. One of them remarked that a sad story or song "will move the spirit" and I had to agree with him, it seems the best works of art have been born out of sad moments.

Their music and their voices are very special, the tones of their fiddles are unique and easily recognizable and who can keep still when one of their dancing songs is played? Oh, and the dancing... dear Lord... I'd be hard pressed to find something more beautiful than a Celtic dance.

I like their stories a lot: not only because they are full of spirituality and magic, but also because they seem to be the only people who understand that life cannot be painted black or white. A Celtic story won't finish 'well' (or perfectly well); a good fairy is not perfectly good, she can be nasty if you anger her; a badly behaved leprechaun won't be totally bad, he might help someone in need. Everything seems to have the possibility to be or become good - which is (in my opinion) better than the well-known 'happily ever after' ending. They are not afraid to dwell into what happened after all the other stories will end happily. And the morale of the story seems to always be "yes, there is fate, however - it's in your powers to change your fate, all you need is the will".

And then... there are their wishes and curses. I never know where one ends and the other starts - I've read wishes you wouldn't wish to your worst enemies :) Again this mating of the good and bad, the black and white.

I've laughed for minutes, and spilled many tears in the process, when I first heard this wish / curse:

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the armpit of your enemies and may their arms be too short to scratch.

At the other pole you have this beautiful wish:

May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day!

P.S. The translation of the title: May you have a thousand good things!


  1. what a great saying ... will have to remember that one about the camels!

    1. Yes, it might come handy at times :) Thanks for stopping by!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!