Monday, 17 March 2014

What exactly is St Patrick's day?

Lisa Preece gives a run-down on what the yearly tradition actually it just another excuse to have one too many?

St Patrick’s Day celebrates the Irish Saint, once sold into slavery, and champion of Irish Christianity. Somewhere along the line, it became a day to celebrate Irishness… And then it became a yearly excuse to get very drunk, wear green and wave shamrocks around while talking in a questionable accent.

Considering the day’s roots, it’s surprising that so many people get excited about it, and even more surprising that it’s just as fervently supported outside of the emerald isle as on it.

The whole world goes crazy for a day of drinking originating from a very small island. Yet those with any sort of connection to the fair folk are quick to brag about it at any opportunity. We all know about the luck of the Irish, and while it’s not fun to have it rubbed in our faces, there is something inexplicably cool about being able to claim Irish roots.

It’s strange that the day managed to evolve into a holiday best known for getting royally drunk on Guinness, especially because pubs were closed in Ireland on March 17 right up until 1961. Maybe everyone has just been making up for all those years of lost drinking since!  

But as great, and yet overrated, as St Paddy’s Day is, there’s no denying that Sheffield is very unpatriotic by not having the same hype around St George’s Day. The English patron saint killed a dragon, which seems infinitely more awesome than anything St Patrick ever did!  

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