Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: The whole world’s going green!

Ok, now that might be a bit of an exaggeration but on 17th March, there’ll be a lot of green to be seen for sure, because it’s St Patrick’s Day. And that’s a cause for celebration that might even surpass Carnival!

Marked in The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland as well as the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat as a Public Holiday, you will also find it celebrated anywhere around the world where there is an Irish diaspora, notably Great Britain, Canada and the USA. In fact, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated as a national festival in more countries than any other. 

17th March marks the date that St Patrick died in 461 and was made an official Christian feast day in Ireland in the early 17th century, commemorating St Patrick himself and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is said that St Patrick used a shamrock (three leaf clover which has become a very traditional symbol of Ireland) to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. As it falls within Lent, the restrictions on what one could eat and drink were lifted for this day, which certainly helped the celebrations become very merry. It became an official public holiday in Ireland in 1903

Festivities include parades, ceilidhs ([ˈceːliː] – a traditional party gathering), green clothes and decorations, and lots of shamrocks. Dublin will be celebrating for four days including walking tours, fun fairs, street festivals, lighting up city buildings in traditional green, a fun run and a traditional parade, while cities across North America such as New York and Chicago will also have parades and celebrations.

With its strong links to Ireland and with a large Irish community, Chicago is very famous for dying the Chicago River a particularly bright shade of emerald green (you can see lots of photos of this online). They use a natural dye, the recipe of which is a hotly guarded secret, that starts as a shade of orange when first poured into the river and then magically turns the traditional Irish green – maybe it’s Leprechaun magic!

So why not head over to your local Irish pub on the 17th and celebrate this greenest of days. While you’re there, don’t forget to order a Guinness (or two) and make sure you draw a shamrock on top of the froth with your finger. Traditionally, you should still be able to see the indentation of the shamrock at the bottom of the glass when you’re finished. It’s a long time since I did this so I might have to give it a go myself – you know…. just to check that it still works!


What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"


Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?

Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.

Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!

Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot

Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?

Episode 30: Bless you!

Episode 31: What are you thankful for?

Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?

Episode 33: What's behind the door?

Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!

Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?

Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year

Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?

Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2

Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?

Episode 40: Sweet Valentine

Episode 41: A Reminder

Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!

Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils

Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question