As you know (or may not know), It is St. Patrick’s day on March 17th. It is an Irish holiday but it is celebrated all around the world. In the US, it is even more exaggerated. Before 1970’s it was a religious holiday only in Ireland and people would gather and have meals together. It’s become a festival thanks to Irish Americans. It’s become all about conserving their ethnicity and solidarity.
So who is this guy Patrick?
St. Patrick is the missioner who brought Christianity to Ireland. He taught about Trinity with a shamrock. Since it has three leaves, it is the symbol of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And another legend says that he made all snakes vanish from the island. Yes, there are no snakes in Ireland. However, it is not really because of St. Patrick. It is because snakes never made it to Ireland. Apparently the ocean around the island is too cold for snakes to arrive to the island in the first place. So if you don’t like snakes, come live in Ireland 😀
So how do we celebrate St Patrick’s day?
In general, everyone and everything become green. You would see plenty of shamrocks and leprechauns around. And you drink all day long like they don’t drink any other time. 😀 You drink the famous Irish stout, Guinness. I heard that the Guinness sales double on this day.
Ok, let’s talk about my St. Patrick’s days. I’m saying “days” because I thought I was only going to have one St. Patrick’s day in Ireland and I ended up having three. 😀 So we can even say St. Patrick’s week because the festival takes a couple of days. In Cork (where I used to live), at first they put together a festival area with lots of stands where you can buy food, dessert, jewellery and all kinds of things. I couldn’t help but share this chocolate fountain with strawberries. 😛 These stands usually stay for three days. There is also a stage. There are some concerts from time to time.
On the 17th, the crowd gathers on the most famous street St. Patrick (coincidence? :D) in Cork. As I read in the newspaper, the first time I was at the festival, there were more than 80 thousand people. I have no idea how we all fit there 😀 And then there was the parade. In various costumes, schools, associations, institutions etc walked. Everywhere was green. It lasted one and a half hours. Later, everybody spent their time in pubs drinking. After 3 o’clock, we already started seeing vomit everywhere. 😛 Other than that there wasn’t many attractions going on. The parade wasn’t so good either. And here the pubs close at 2 am and everybody goes home. There wasn’t an exception for St. Patrick’s.
I’ve heard that St. Patrick’s day in Dublin is much better. I’ve never had a chance to go there on St. Patrick’s. People all around the world come to Dublin for this day. But the best one is in the US they say. They even paint the river in Chicago for example. In Ireland, they only highlight the buildings in green. In Dublin, green buildings are more obviously. In 2013, I went to Dublin the day after St. Patrick’s. For the festival, they put two fun fairs in the city. I got the chance to go to one of them. It was fun but it would have been better, if it hadn’t been raining.
For my second St. Patrick’s day, I almost did the same things. I kept eating and drinking. 😀 Those stands may have different food that we might not find all the time, such as paella. But they might not taste so good 😀
I hope one day, I can spend the St. Patrick’s day in the US. If you want to visit Ireland, It’d be a good time to visit around St. Patrick’s day. However if you are not that interested, visit another time. Because it is an expensive country anyway, it becomes more expensive during holidays.
If you have any questions or you would like to share your experience, reach me anytime 🙂