Q & A with Claudia Walsh

March 14, 2012 — by Cecilia Hollenhorst

In Saratoga, St. Patrick’s Day seems much like a normal day, if only distinguishable by more green shirts and sweaters, but for Claudia Walsh, the child of two Irish parents, the day holds cultural significance.

In Saratoga, St. Patrick’s Day seems much like a normal day, if only distinguishable by more green shirts and sweaters, but for Claudia Walsh, the child of two Irish parents, the day holds cultural significance.

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Every year my family and I watch really funny Irish movies in the evening on St. Patrick’s Day. The funny thing about St. Patrick’s Day in the United States is that people do the whole leprechaun thing, but in Ireland people get kind of annoyed and somewhat offended by it. In Ireland people just party all day.

Has the way you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day changed over the years?

When I was younger, I was really involved in Irish Dance, so around St. Patrick’s Day and on St. Patrick’s Day I would dance with my dance school at fairs, festivals, weddings, retirement homes, and Irish bars or restaurants every year. But since I don’t dance anymore, it’s more laid back and my family usually just has corned beef and cabbage and watches movies.

Why is St. Patrick’s Day important to you?

My parents have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day for their whole lives, because both of them are from Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day is a really big holiday over there (about as big as the 4th of July is in the United States). Kids in Ireland get the day off on St. Patrick’s Day and shops are closed, so most people in Ireland just get together and have huge parties.

Do your friends celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Yes, actually a lot of my friends who aren’t Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which is pretty funny to me! One of my friends who is of Mexican descent has a big party every year for it with her family and friends.

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