Shamrocks and Leprechauns and Green Beer

Shamrocks and Leprechauns and Green Beer

by Amelia G : March 17th, 2008

Ariel X St Patricks DayAs a holiday, St Patrick’s Day has dubious origins but fabulous iconography.

Although the holiday tends to serve as both an expression of Irish pride and an excuse to get thoroughly blotto (Hi Funkatron), the origins of Saint Paddy’s are neither in drunkenness nor Ireland. Although observation of the holiday in the Americas was recorded as early as 1737 in Boston, he first serious St Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City on March 17, 1762 as a celebration for Irish soldiers in the British military. That would be the British military whose asses we kicked in order to become a sovereign nation and pursue happiness and freedom and stuff. Nonetheless, over the years, the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City grew into a bigger and bigger event. A lot of the first Irish immigrants to the New World were Protestant, but the 1845 Potato Famine lead to an influx of Catholic Irish population. Although grisly prejudice against the Irish in general and the Catholic Irish in particular lead initially to negative media coverage of the parade, when President Harry Truman attended the festivities in 1948, many people felt that prejudice was really something that the US of A was finally putting behind it. This was perhaps overly optimistic, but still a step in the right direction.

Actually in Ireland, St Patrick’s Day was celebrated as a religious holiday, even though St Patrick was a pretty lame saint. Patrick was essentially a trust fund baby from the 400’s. He was kidnapped from his parents’ estate and held captive for six years, during which time he, go figure, got kinda religious and started hearing voices. When he escaped, he is said to have walked 200 miles to . . .

( Read more )