For many people, St Patrick’s Day is looked upon as a day for getting incredibly inebriated. This association with drinking can be probably put down to the countless adverts surrounding alcohol during this time and the relentless shipping of the Irish as this drunken stereotype. The link with alcohol to St Patrick’s Day can be justified somewhat as the day itself is traditionally celebrated in Ireland as being the day that ‘Lenten’ restrictions are lifted giving the people the freedom to drink and eat freely. This obviously led to people being unable to control themselves, especially when it comes to drinking alcohol. It became such a problem that there was a ban imposed by the Irish government that restricted bars and pubs from being open on the public holiday which wasn’t lifted until the 1970s.
So how has a predominantly Irish religious festival managed to become a world renowned day to celebrate Irish culture and consume alcohol?
Even though there is a strong affiliation with alcohol, St Patricks Day was originally implemented to commemorate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland that Saint Patrick is said to be responsible for and to also celebrate Irish culture in general.
St Patricks Day has experienced more popularity in the past century and is celebrated all over the world now. This can largely be attributed to the mass Irish emigration which has seen over 100 million people worldwide now claim to have Irish ancestry.
This has meant there are now multiple places around the world that not only celebrate St Patricks Day but hold Irish festivals that are held around the day itself.
As the capital of Scotland it does have a fairly large Irish contingent with over 5% of people being born in Ireland that live the city itself and the surrounding areas of east, west and mid Lothian. This does not include the many people who claim to have Irish bloodlines. With this large group of native and ancestral Irish, although not as concentrated as Glasgow, it has led to an Edinburgh Irish Festival being held every year that takes place around the date of St Patricks Day. Events include a free concert in Princes Street Gardens, a popular green space in Edinburgh’s city centre, that showcases traditional Irish music and dance.
On the 17th March you won’t find any parades like in other places on St. Patrick’s Day but a giant green street party in a 10-block radius in the Retiro district. This is the largest event of it’s kind in South America as the city coasts the 5th biggest Irish community in the world.
This is where the largest St. Patricks Day parade in the world takes place. It usually lasts 6 hours, all the while being televised on national television. You can expect plenty of floats, marching bands and large crowds as the colour green engulfs the streets.
- 17 Mar, 2015
- Vicki Scott
- 0 Comments
- green, ireland, irish, St Patrick's Day,