Ok Bar flies gather round, put the pee encrusted nuts down and hold off on the drunken yet to be regretted text your typing... It’s time to learn something.
In just a few short days Rivers will flow green, beer will pour green and millions of fetching green T Shirts will be adorned by wannabe Irish folk the World over..
That’s a lot of green. It can only mean St Patrick’s Day is almost here, so let’s have a condensed history of our modern celebrations
A few facts about Patrick the Saint...
Born in the latter part of the 5th Century
Spent the early part of his life living in Roman Britain
Captured by Irish Pirates and enslaved for some six years in Ireland where he tended livestock
Escaped & returned to Britain where he felt a calling to deliver Christianity to the people of Ireland so made his way back
Returned to Ireland and spread the word of Christianity
He drove out all the snakes we never had to begin with
Started an early mail order business in garish green shirts and party hats!
The Paddy’s Day parades & festivities we see in Ireland every year are still very much a modern celebration of the Feast of St Patrick.
It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that Irish Pubs we’re even allowed to open on the big day. The Irish Government at the time had this crazy notion that if the pubs opened people would drink and St Patrick’s Day would go from a religious celebration to a big old boozy Party!!
As it turned out Irish people are much too respectful of their religious holidays to allow such things to happen, Irish Americans it transpired however have no such decorum & it’s the second & third generation Irish immigrants who should be blamed for the gigantic piss up party that Paddy’s Day has become.
Although he never set foot in what would eventually become North America, St Patrick has been hijacked by the Yanks! Well the Yanks from Ireland who made the Country their home to be specific.
The Immigrant population in the United States notably Boston, Chicago & New York were the folks who really went all out to throw a party, using St Patrick’s Day to celebrate their culture and champion their Gaelic routes. So It’s Chicago not Dublin where you will find a river flowing green and it’s Boston not Belfast where the Guinness pours Green! It only ever pours black on this Island.
Back in Ireland It wasn’t until 1995 that the Tourism sector woke up to the possibilities of the occasion and began to embrace St Paddy’s day. Eventually the idea of Ireland as a tourist destination in which to celebrate the what was historically the Feast of St Patrick. So while Dublin and Belfast now play host to sizeable Parades & parties to mark Paddy and his day, they are still very much playing catch up to the well established carnival like festivities in many US Cities.
It’s even more recent times that stores in Ireland have begun to stock party supplies and decorations to compliment the Holiday. In fact a lot of this merchandise pitched at what was always an Irish celebration has made its way over from the USA, where it has been a yearly retail event much like Easter and the 4th July, for many years
However, this is Ireland so don’t worry about missing out, if you happen to be in the Emerald Isle on March 17th our legendary hospitality and craic will ensure you have a good time. The USA may do it big and bold, but Ireland will always do it best! Paddy was ours after all.
There has been some artistic license taken, but all in all that’s kinda accurate.