St. Patrick’s Day Etiquette


The way to return the Irish greeting ‘Top of the morning to you’ is to say ‘and the rest of the day to yourself’.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, when we’re all at least a little bit Irish, or so the saying goes. This significantly increases the chances of someone greeting you with the phrase ‘Top of the morning to you’. If you have no knowledge of the concept of St. Patrick’s Day, or at least how it is celebrated in North America, you may well think the person has lost their grip on things. I understand that the reflex is to say ‘and to you’, or to repeat the phrase back to the person as in Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, or even mutter ‘right back at ya’ but these are not the proper responses. Nope. The way to return the Irish greeting ‘Top of the morning to you’ is to say ‘and the rest of the day to yourself’.

Like New York and Boston, Irish immigrants played a key role in Montreal’s history, earning them a spot on the municipal flag in the form of a Shamrock. That strong presence and tradition is on display today in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade which follows the green line that has been painted down St. Catherine Street.

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So as things in the world continue to deteriorate, from the situation in Ukraine to the protests and killings of innocent students in Venezuela, and the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, give yourself a break today and attend a St. Patrick’s Day event in your neighbourhood for a little while.   Remember to wear green!

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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