Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

17 03 2008

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, in which we celebrate the Saint Patrick, patron Saint of Ireland. In the Roman-Catholic church, the holiday is celebrated by a feast (unless it falls on Palm Sunday, which won’t happen again until 2160). In Ireland, there is a five-day festival that includes a parade, Irish food, and thousands dressed in green. Green was not the original color of the holiday, however. Blue was the color long associated with St. Patrick. However in more modern times, green because the color closely associated with the holiday as a part of the “wearing of the green,” an Irish tradition that meant wearing a shamrock pinned on one’s clothes, symbolizing Irish nationality, or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. The official day of the holiday is March 17th, the date of St. Patrick’s death, and is a bank holiday in Ireland. Here in the United States, many celebrate the holiday, although it is not an observed holiday. In Chicago, the Chicago River is dyed green for the holiday.
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In New York, there is a parade that goes right past St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Photobucket
St. Patrick’s Day is usually celebrated in the US as a day of revelry, wearing green, and drinking. The restaurant Bennigan’s is an Irish pub style restaurant, and they really get into celebrating St. Patty’s Day. They serve green beer, and their website even has a place where you can send your friends “lepregrams”. As children, we are told to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, or else we will get pinched. Because of the general merriment (and the fact that the bank is open) of the holiday, it is generally viewed as a day to wear green, tell lore of creatures called Leprechauns who hide a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, and drink Guiness. But in Ireland, this is a widely recognized holiday, celebrating their Patron Saint. It is easy to forget that there is a serious aspect to the holiday. So, wear your green, lest you fall victim to pinching, and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Slaint√®!

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