St Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the world over, not only by Irish ex-pats, but by most that enjoy socialising and having a good time. So all of us then!
But where did the tradition of drinking come from? And is this excuse for jubilation the reason for St Patrick’s popularity compared to the other patron saints of the home nations? Our very own humble Bard is celebrated far more than Saint Andrew.
If you weren’t already aware, St Patrick’s Day is historically a Christian holiday, celebrating the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and was declared by the church as an official day of feasting. There was a problem though, St Patrick’s Day falls during the period of Lent, when observers practice repentance and self-denial. Sounds like a rather boring feast to me. And so the church decided that restrictions on eating certain foods and drinking alcohol should be lifted for the day. And thus the tradition of enjoying a drink, or two, or possibly three, emerged.
St Patrick’s Day has largely become a secular holiday, and as pointed out by Guinness, “Everyone’s Irish on March 17th”. The celebrations in Dublin now last 5 days(!) and attract around 1 million visitors. In comparison the shortest St Patrick’s Parade is in Dripsey, Cork; it consists of a 100 yards between, predictably, the two village pubs.
And so we go, in our droves, garbed in green, to join in the revelry and get our very own St Patrick’s Day story. My personal favourite is a friend of mine adamantly arguing the superiority of Irish Whiskey, whilst enjoying a good Scottish Ardbeg.
Wherever you’re going, whatever the craic, you can make the day last a lifetime with some custom designed St Patrick’s hoodies or t-shirts. Who knows, if all goes well, it may be the only memory you have from the day!
- 3 Mar, 2014
- Gail Freedman
- 0 Comments
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