Read Patrick’s Pot Legend and do other interesting activities.

Make sure you understand the words and word combinations in bold. Explain them in your own words.

There is an old Irish legend about the custom of drinking alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day.

Once St. Patrick was traveling across the country. When he got tired, he decided to have a drink in a village inn. But the innkeeper was a dishonest man and not very generous. When St. Patrick was served a measure of whisky, the innkeeper poured less than full. St. Patrick took this opportunity to teach a lesson of generosity to the owner. He took the glass and told the innkeeper that a monstrous devil lived in his cellar. Patrick said that the monstrous devil chose the cellar because of the owner’s dishonesty. In order to banish the devil, the man had to change his ways and to be more generous.

Some time later when St. Patrick returned to the same inn, he found the owner generously filling the patron’s glasses to overflowing. The innkeeper begged Patrick to drive away the devil from his cellar. St. Patrick banished the demon proclaiming that everyone should have a drop of the “hard stuff” on his feast day.

On March 17 after church the Irish go to the pubs to drink a drop of whisky. This custom is known as Patrick’s pot and is popular nowadays too.

Read the holiday toast and answer the questions

  • What do you know about St. Patrick?
  • Why is St. Patrick a very important person for the Irish?
  • What will happen to a person if he toasts too much?

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,

Who through  strategy and stealth

Drove all the snakes from Ireland,

Here’s a toasting to his health.

But not too many toastings

Lest you lose yourself and then

Forget the good Saint Patrick

And see all those snakes again.

Read and complete the triads

Irish triads are the arrangement of ideas in groups of three. Many of these triads are witty, with an amusing climax – or anticlimax – in the third item. For example, three things necessary for happiness: a faithful Wife, a well-padded Chair, and a Harp well-tuned.

Pride, wooing, drunkenness

Drunkenness, trustfulness, love

Truth, nature, knowledge

Ignorance, inaccurate knowledge, forgetfulness

The Triads of Ireland

Three candles that illuminate every darkness: _________________________________________

The three things that ruin wisdom: _________________________________________________

Three nurses of high spirits: _______________________________________________________

Three keys that unlock thoughts: ___________________________________________________ leprechaun-whisky

Read the toast below and guess which word is missing here.

It is a key word of this toast. If you guess the word, you will understand the meaning of the poem.

There are good ships,

And there are wood ships,

The ships that sail the sea.

But the best ships, are _______ships,

And may always be!

Fill in the gaps with the verbs: neglect, protect, accept, respect

May neighbours __________________ you

Trouble _______________ you

The angles ______________ you

And heaven ______________ you.

Find Ukrainian equivalents to the following Irish proverbs:

  1. A hen is heavy when carried far.
  2. If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn.
  3. A hound’s food is in its legs.
  4. Patience is poultice for all wounds.
  5. Even a small thorn causes festering.
  6. It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for.
  7. A silent mouth is melodious.
  8. It takes time to build castles.
  9. Two shorten the road.
  10. As the big hound is, so will the pup be.
a. Ложка дьогтю у бочці меду.
b.   У дорозі й голка важка.
c.   Час усе лікує.
d.   Вовка ноги годують.
e.   Весняний день рік годує.
f.   Київ не відразу збудовано.
g.   Одинокому дорога дуже довга.
h.   Руки не простягнеш, то й ложки не
i.   Яке коріння, таке й насіння.
j.   Мовчання – золото.

 Match the two halves of the Irish proverbs.

He who comes with a story to you

It is not a secret if

There is no fireside

There is no need like

When a twig grows hard

When the drop is inside

You cannot make a silk purse

You have got to do your own growing,

… no matter how tall your grandfather was.

… like your own fireside.

… the lack of a friend.

… it is difficult to twist it.

… it is known by three people.

… out of sow’s ear.

… the sense is outside.

… brings two away from you.


Download exercises