Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Irish Drinking Toasts for St. Patrick’s Day

 St. Patrick’s Day is rich in tradition. This article provides information about the holiday and examples of Irish toasts for friendship, luck, happiness, and blessings.
March 17th is the religious feast day and the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick and has been observed for over a thousand years. Irish families traditionally attended church in the morning and celebrated in the afternoon. Their traditional feast was Irish bacon and cabbage, and there would be much drinking and toasting for luck and happiness. Today, St. Patrick Day is celebrated by Irish and non-Irish alike. It seems that everyone is “Irish” on March 17th.
History of Toasting
Throughout history and in almost every country, toasting has been used to mark special occasions. The tradition even traces back to biblical times. The first recorded drinking toast was in England in 450 AD. It was made at a feast given by British King Vortigen to his Saxon allies for good health and fortune. Toasting has since evolved in different stages and for different occasions. St. Patrick’s Day is one of those occasions.
History of Irish Toasts
Irish folklore offers many examples of stories, inspiring quotes, and songs about happiness, love and luck. Such inspirational stories and songs have, throughout Irish history, helped the Irish cope with problems and difficult times.  Since Irishmen have always loved celebrating, it is not surprising that some of these inspiring and rousing sayings were transformed into Irish toasts to show support, understanding, and friendship among the traditionally hard-working Irish.
Irish Blessing Toasts
The following famous Celtic blessings and prayers are appropriate for inspirational toasts on St. Patrick’s day, or on any day:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.


May the blessing of light be on you…
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.


May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Irish Sayings and Funny Toasts
There are many Irish sayings and toasts that are suitable for toasting friendship, happiness, good luck, or for providing humor to the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
For friendship and luck:
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
My friends are the best friends
Loyal, willing and able.
Now let’s get to drinking!
All glasses off the table!
If you’re lucky enough to be Irish,
You’re lucky enough!
May your pockets be heavy,
Your heart be light,
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night
May the leprechauns be near you
To spread luck along your way,
And may all the Irish angels
Smile upon you on St. Patrick’s Day
May the luck of the Irish
Lead to happiest heights,
And the highway you travel
Be lined with green lights.
For happiness:
Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last.
May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.
Health and long life to you.
The wife of your choice to you.
A child every year to you,
And life without rent to you.
And may you be half an hour in heaven
Before the devil knows your dead.
May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.
May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have
a coin or two inside!
For humor:
There are many good reasons for drinking,
One has just entered my head.
If a man doesn't drink when he's living,
How in the hell can he drink when he's dead?
Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer – and another one!

In summary, Irish or non-Irish alike can observe and better enjoy the holiday by continuing the tradition of toasting one another with such tributes to and wishes for blessings, good fortune, and happiness.
Picture credit: Tegan Jones