Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and Happy Irish American Heritage Month!

Don’t forget to participate in the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop. My giveaway is open to international readers. Comment on my blog today through the 20th to be entered for a free PDF download of one of my books--winners choice.
Please remember to leave your email with your comment. If you sign as a follower, you will be entered twice. If you subscribe to my newsletter on the sidebar form, that's also another entry, but please mention this in your comment. The list of Lucky Leprechain Giveaway Hop's 272 participants (each with a giveaway) is found at:

This is the month to celebrate all things Irish, but especially this week. Even if your name is Stanislavsky, Cho, or Martinez, everyone’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day! 

Are you superstitious? Ever knock on wood? Ever say "Bless you" when someone sneezes? Most of us are more superstitious than we care to admit. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, here are some Irish superstitions among photos my Hero husband and I took while we were in Ireland, a place we love to visit, and it's even lovelier than the photos.

Irish fields in vivid green, separated by hedgerows and
unmortared rock fences.

Many of the ancient pagan religions considered objects in nature such as animals, rocks, and especially trees to be of much importance. Trees were believed to have magical abilities, specifically in the area of healing. Even human characteristics were attributed to trees; it was thought that they had memories and the ability to communicate with people under the right circumstances. So important were trees that there were a system of fines to be imposed on any who cut one down unnecessarily.

Killarney Park Estate with 52 chimneys and
365 windows, home open to public for tours
Even some of the rituals and superstitions that still exist today can trace their roots to Ireland of old. The practice of saying "touch wood" or "knock on wood" (often while performing said action) for good luck is a remnant of the pagan beliefs regarding trees. I asked you if you'd ever said or done this, remember? That will certainly bring new meaning to the expression the next time you hear it or say it yourself, won't it?

Blue building is the B&B in Sneem where Maureen O'Hara
stayed during the filming of the movie "The Quiet Man."
Hero and I had lunch there but then our tour moved on.

When yawning, make the sign of the cross instantly over your mouth, or the evil spirit will make a rush down and take up his abode with you. [Same reason for saying "Bless you" when a person sneezes.]

If the palm of your left hand itches you will be getting money; if the right, you'll be paying out money.

If your elbow itches, you will be changing beds.
Two Irishmen
shaking hands

It is unlucky to offer your right hand in salutation, for there is an old saying, "A curse with the left hand to those we hate, but the right hand to those we honor."

Riding in a jaunty cart at Killarney park
in County Kerry, Ireland
Breaking a mirror brought seven years of bad luck, while two people washing hands in the same basin at the same time courted disaster.

Never disturb the swallows, wherever they may build, and neither remove nor destroy their nests; for they are wise birds, and will mark your conduct either for punishment or favor. [Note: In reality, they are raptors that will eat the insects that annoy animals and people.]

If a man is ploughing a field, no one should cross the path of the horses.
Irish Traveler playing for coins at roadside rest stop.
For more on Irish Traverlers, see Caroline Clemmons' book,

By accident, if you find the back tooth of a horse, carry it about with you as long as you live, and you will never want money; but it must be found by chance.

To breakfast by candlelight on Christmas morning is lucky.
Two people washing hands in the same basin at the same time are courting disaster.If a chair falls when a person stands up, it is an unlucky omen.

My favorite:  Every day has one hour in which a wish may be granted and in which a person has the power to see spirits.

Please return on the 18th when British author Rachel Brimble will tell us about her harrowing escape from floods in Frejus, France last summer that rearranged her holiday. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by. Keep reading our books!


Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

I love Irish trivia and hope to go to Ireland some time. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D.

Bobbye Terry said...

Beautiful pictures and information, Caroline!

Vince said...

Hi Caroline:

My relatives came from County Cork during the potato famine and I’ve yet to get to Ireland. I’m happy you got to go and that you shared your pictures. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks to those who commented. It's a beautiful country and I hope each of you has the opportunity to visit there.

Sarah said...

Your pictures are awesome. Very inviting.

Anonymous said...

I loved that trivia...especially about the fines for cutting down trees and the origins of "knock on wood" So glad I found you via this hop!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I'm a new follower and signed up for the newsletter:)

Suzanne said...

Caroline, those sure were a lot of superstitions. Wow!

I haven't forgotten about your email to me. I'll get back to you next week, okay?

I "Liked" your Facebook page. Please "Like" mine in return:

And I'm on this Leprechaun Tour, too. Please stop by my blog at:

BJ said...

Thanks for the great photos:0)
oh and the
I'm a follower :)


JessS said...

Great giveaway, thanks. I'm a follower as well.

Nightly Cafe said...

Happy St. Patty's Day a day late :). Following.


bkwalkersbooks at comcast dot net

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Thank you for the great giveaway, please enter me.

I love suprestitions and traditions, always find reading about them fascinating :-)

Thank you,

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Meredith said...

Loved the Irish trivia and info! I haven't been there--yet!

New GFC follower

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Christie said...

Thanks for having this giveaway!And thanks for all the Superstitions info.. interesting!

I am a follower on GFC - Christie

swaggirl01 at gmail dot com

Judy said...

I really enjoyed your post, all kinds of good information and pictures.

I am a follower-GFC-judy
I subscribed to your email


Amosette said...

I am a gfc follower, please enter me in the contest. I've never read your books but would like the chance to.
julie meyers/amosette

Bookadicea said...

Great Giveaway! Please count me in! :) Thanks!
clarissa.bulatao at

Jennifer said...

Great giveaway!
jenniferlynnadams at gmail dot com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

While the flood must have been scary as heel, just think of the trip as an exciting chapter in an upcoming book.

I'm a new follower-Lisa Richards

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Laura H. said...

Thanks for the giveaway and for participating in this blog hop! I'm a new follower via GFC (Bornajhawk) and an e-mail subscriber.


IdentitySeeker said...

Great giveaway. Thanks:)

SweetShenanigans said...

GFC follower!
thanks so much
girl23rocks at hotmail dot com