Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today is the day we celebrate St. Patrick, who did not actually drive out any snakes from Ireland, also he wasn't even Irish, but I digress. Let's be real, today is the day we drink, a day where we are all Irish. Coming from an Irish Catholic family, there are two things I learned growing up: the Irish like to drink and they have kids like it's a competition.
St. Patrick is not the patron saint of green beer, so why is his day of celebration so synonymous with drinking? In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday, and they have treated it as such. It used to be a day of going to church and culminated in a feast for dinner. However, in the early 1900's in America, Irish immigration was rising and amid a lot of discrimination, Irish Americans wanted to celebrate their heritage and also acknowledge their new home in America. To parade down the streets was an act of public pride and celebration.
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in America also meant that you could have a day off from Lent, hence the drinking. Ireland didn't allow their bars to even be open on this religious holiday until the 1960s, but seeing how much fun we were having over here, they relented. And so the holiday evolved, and with it the traditions. St. Patrick's Day has gotten so big, that it is widely recognized around the world with parties and parades.
So raise a glass and drop your keys (seriously you are an asshole if you drink and drive) to the Irish in us all!
And if you want to learn more about the Irish, check out Weekly Alibi's podcast this week.