March was a month I always looked forward to for many reasons.
The days were stretching and the worst of the winter was over and signs of spring were everywhere. Buds appeared on trees and shrubs and the flowers popped their tiny heads above ground level to show us they survived all that the winter had thrown at them.
The religious season of Lent always seemed to cover the month so as a young lady it involved fast and abstinence. One full meal and two collations was the norm for the forty days. For the collations fish & or eggs were allowed, but no more than four ounces! The fasting was between these meals and the only exception was to have a cup of tea or coffee and two plain biscuits! The law of abstinence required a Catholic from 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honour of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday.
The first three of us in the family were unlucky enough to have birthdays during lent. The middle guy of those three was late Feb so sometimes missed the cut. Lenten birthdays were celebrated with a special meal (cake with a candle in it) on the nearest Sunday evening! Since two of us had birthdays in March just two days apart, we even shared the one cake! What was I saying about abstinence? 🙁
Back in those far off days before Hallmarkfests we were lucky to get one birthday card from all the family. It never saw a stamp or Post Office since the last person going to bed left it in the hall below the letterbox!
The Hi-light of the month was St Patrick’s Day, feast of our Patron Saint and a national holiday. The penetential fasting was lifted for the day and a fatted calf turkey, ham or joint of pork was roasted with all the trimmings, anyone would think we had not seen food since Christmas! For the folks who had abstained from chocolate for the duration, St Pat’s Day was a welcome break.
I never remember going to see a Parade in my young life – I was probably in the kitchen peeling a ton of spuds for the big feast. Parades were for other people.
When I moved to Northern Ireland the St Patrick’s Day parade had political connotations so I kept well away. It was a normal working day here and Miss Elly had to attend school.
The celebrations always seemed a little over the top in New York with green beer, three quarters of the Irish Government in attendance and every Tom, Dick and Uncle Harry wearing a chest full of weeds.
In recent years the celebrations have returned to Irish soil and that is where the Patron should be remembered. This year we have again, the Irish St Patrick’s Festival it runs from 12th to 17th March 2009. Pixie has been working with the organizers on a huge photo sharing project to help document this year’s festival in photos from the perspective of those attending.
The aim is to invite everyone bringing their camera to this year’s events to contribute their photos to the official St Patrick’s Festival group so that the experience can be shared with people from all over the world.
Besides all the above, Marcus from Pix.ie has announced a fantastic opportunity for Photographers, Photobloggers and Bloggers in association with The Saint Patricks Day Festival organisers, Canon and The Guinness Storehouse.
To make things a little more interesting, we’ve created a competition and will be selecting three lucky winners whose photos capture the spirit of the festival. Canon have very kindly offered to sponsor some of the best prizes we’ve seen in a photo competition and with a total value of just under €1,800, these are very generous prizes!!!
- 1st Prize – Canon EOS 1000D digital SLR camera, Selphy ES3 photo printer, 150 Euro photography training course, adding memory card and photo printing paper. Total value €1,050
- 2nd Prize – Powershot E1 digital camera and Selphy ES3 photo printer. Total Value €480
- 3rd Prize – Selphy ES3 photo printer. Total Value €240
Not only are they giving away these beauties from Canon, but Marcus has managed to get lots of ways for photographers to take some pictures from special locations, and after all that hard work the reward is inviting a group of photobloggers to the Guinness Storehouse for a pint of the black stuff.
Woo hoo to Marcus and the team at Pix.ie, for all the effort
Since my new motto is:- The only way to have a friend is to be one and the only way to enjoy a party is to join in! I am joining in with my entry for the competition.
I am all dressed up and ready to go… wearing my bow on my hair. You will have to take my word for it, it is a green Bow & dress, I know because my mother told me many, many times over the years and the photo was taken long before we had colour films or digital cameras.
No, I didn’t take the picture myself I am not Rebecca