I always enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. To me, the holiday represents a celebration of the Irish culture: a culture that is bombarded mostly with beer, shamrocks, and the color green. Don’t get me wrong, I am an annual participant. However, a few years ago, I had the opportunity of traveling to Ireland to participate in their annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and ended up discovering and experiencing the true essence of the holiday. I also came to a realization that while our Irish-themed celebrations are meant to act as a tribute, and are a lot of fun, the American-version of St. Patrick’s Day has it all wrong.
Read on for some debunked “myths” about the lucky holiday, so that you may be the wisest of your clan.
- The St. Patrick’s Day Celebration began in Ireland and was brought over to America by immigrants.
This statement has some truth to it, but only a little. While St. Patrick’s Day was recognized in Ireland, it was more of an honorary, traditional festival within the Catholic Church. After the impact of the Great Potato Famine had led a flux of Irish immigrants to the U.S., the Americanized-version of the holiday that we know today was developed as a symbol of their home country, and their pride of being associated.
You better wear green, or you risk getting pinched!
Guess what! Green may have become the symbol for St. Patrick’s Day, but it is not the color representation of St. Patrick, himself. St. Patrick and his knights were known for wearing “St. Patrick’s Blue” (Think Cobalt). It is believed that green became widespread after its adoption from the Irishmen in the Irish Rebellion.
The more beer, the better!
Beer, Guinness specifically, is widely consumed on St. Patrick’s Day. Yet, the consumption of alcohol on the holiday was a rarity up until recent decades. Drinking alcohol during Lent was a big no-no within many Christian sects. This was more so the case when the holiday landed during Holy Week. However, as the holiday becomes more secular, more bars and pubs are opening up and stocking up on the best liquid vices.
So what do I suggest you do with this information? KEEP PARTYING ON! While many of the “facts” associated with Irish culture and St. Patrick’s Day are not accurate, March 17th can still act as the symbol the first Irish-American immigrants introduced: Pride. Here are some events going on through the weekend:
- St. Patrick’s Day at the Greensboro Farmer’s Market – March 19th
- Old Town Beer Run – March 20th
- Rothar Turas: St. Paddy’s Week Cycling Classic – March 19th