In Ireland, there is a very thin line between Irish blessings and Irish toasts – and they are often interchangeable. There are as many ways to raise a glass to offer good cheer and blessings as there are Irish superstitions. The Irish offer toasts for prosperity, for loving and long-lasting relationships and, of course, to St. Patrick himself, patron saint of Ireland.
Many Irish men and women will raise their glasses high today and proclaim in Gaelic, sláinte, (pronounced slawn-cheh), or to “your health.”
“Today there are only two kinds of people in the world,” say the Irish, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. “The Irish and those that wish they were Irish.” And so, to celebrate the wee bit of Irish in all of us, I offer a selection of Irish toasts (and/or) blessings to share with your friends and loved ones:
May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.
May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.
Here’s to the land of the shamrock
Where Irish hearts are true.
Here’s to our blessed Saint Patrick
But most of all, here’s to you!
May peace and plenty be the first to lift the latch on your door,
And happiness be guided to your home by the candle of St. Patrick.
May you never forget what is worth remembering
Or remember what is best forgotten.
Green and shamrocks hanging up
And something wet in every cup.
May the roof above us never fall in
And may we friends gathered below never fall out.
Come and take potluck with me
My hearth is warm
My friendship is free.
May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty.
‘Tis glad I am and glad I’ll be
Knowing you like the likes o’ me.
May you be poor in misfortune
Rich in blessings
Slow to make enemies
Quick to make friends
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May your pockets be heavy
Your heart be light
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night.
May you never see a bad day
And, if it sees you, may it be wearing glasses.
May you get all your wises but one
So you always have something to strive for.
It would take more lucky shamrocks than Ireland ever grew.
To bring the luck and gladness that I’m always wishing you.
Here’s a wish for a day
That’s lucky all through
From the likes o’ me
To the likes o’ you.
May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent.
Health and long life to you
The woman of your choice to you
A child every year to you
Land without rent to you
And may you die in Ireland.
Here’s to Erin
Where the wind has a sound like a soft sweet song,
And anyone can hum it
And heather grows upon the hills
And shamrocks not far from it.
How sweetly lies old Ireland, emerald green beyond the foam.
Awakening sweet memories, calling the heart back home.
May your days be as sparkling as an Irish smile,
The dew on the shamrock and the Emerald Isle.
And, finally, I share my favorite – An Old Irish Blessing:
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.
As you invite others to “Tabhair póg dom, is Éireannach mé” (or kiss you because you’re Irish, pronounced “Toe-er pog do, iss air-in-ack may), raise your hand high and nicely shout to that kind bartender, “A pint of Guinness, please!” (or “Pionta Guinness, le do thoil,” that’s “Pine-tah Guinness, le do hull.”).
What blessings in your life deserve a toast?
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