Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Photo: Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Irish step dancers

Irish step dancers.

Saint Patrick’s Day (Gaelic: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), is the annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa 385–461 AD), one of Ireland’s patron saints. As one of the island’s earliest Christian missionaries, St. Patrick is widely credited with converting Ireland to Roman Catholicism. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide.

Fun fact: St. Patrick’s blue, not green, was the color long associated with St. Patrick. Green, the color most widely associated with Ireland and with St. Patrick’s Day, may have gained prominence through the phrase “the wearing of the green” meaning to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing.

Need a book to keep you company until the weather warms up for good? Click here to learn more about one man’s quest to play every golf course in Ireland.

Sailing more your style? Click here for Smithsonian Folkways’ Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea.

Much appreciation to Joanne Poesch for mentioning us in her Specialty Travel Column in the Examiner.

Click here to learn more about our next journey to Ireland. There are seats left for lucky folks!

What’s your favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition? Share your thoughts!

For Valentine's Day: Hanging Heart, Jeff Koons

Friday, February 13th, 2009
Hanging Heart, Jeff Koons, as displayed at the Palazzo Grassi during the 2007 Venice Biennale.

Hanging Heart by Jeff Koons, as displayed at the Palazzo Grassi during the 2007 Venice Biennale.

We are all mesmerized by Jeff Koons’ Hanging Heart which sold at Sotheby’s for $27 million, and which is one of five versions he created for his ”Celebration” series. This 3500 pound piece is powerful, well-crafted, and nine-feet tall, and it is made of chromium stainless steel coated with ten layers of painta true hanging wonder.

Next to Koons’ Balloon Flower, Balloon Dog, or Puppy (which once graced the entrance of the Guggenheim Bilbao), the Hanging Heart represents the embodiment of love and serves as a reminder that there is a child in all of us.

Mariana Carpinisan has lived in Washington, D.C. since 1995, where she serves as an art critic, independent curator, and lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution. She has led more than 60 Smithsonian Journeys. Click here to learn more about traveling with Mariana Carpinisan and to read her biography.