The phrase Luck of the Irish has a number of interpretations — some are, well, a little discouraging. I like this one myself: During the gold and silver rush years in the second half of the 19th century, a number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American birth… Over time this association of the Irish with mining fortunes led to the expression 'luck of the Irish.'
It's also the holiday that redheads rule — redheads make up only two percent of the world's population, and being super unique is definitely something to be proud of... whether you're lucky or not. Mom was a redhead. A redhead with a fiery temper. Those were the days!
You may be thinking about corned beef and cabbage. There’s nothing wrong with it, but that’s Irish-American. For something that may actually be served in Ireland, think Irish stew. For a fine Irish stew lamb (mutton) , which is a year old or less is more appropriate. Lamb used to be strictly a springtime meal, but modern husbandry has made it possible to have in any season.
And, there is green beer — predominantly an American custom. Some say the tradition of green beer probably got started in Boston or New York, where there are large populations of Irish-Americans. There is also the idea that green beer stems from the tradition of “drowning the shamrock," when men would drop a shamrock in their whiskey for “good luck” and down the whole thing, including the shamrock.
In Irish legend, Leprechauns bury pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, but since a rainbow can only be seen at a distance, the gold is forever illusive. A number of cultures have a variation of what's at the end of a rainbow. One of my favorite memories as a kid was racing towards a rainbow on our bikes, which to our young eyes seemed so attainable... just try a little harder!