intro text - In several countries, St Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17 as a commemoration of Irish culture and history. Originally a religious holiday, it has now become a secular celebration internationally, with parades, dancing, drinking and special foods, and the wearing of the colour green. St. Patrick's Day is now celebrated by many people throughout the world. Here are some guidelines on how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day Irish-style!
One can credit the rise and stardom of St. Patrick’s day celebration to the Diaspora of Irish origin population in the United States. Infact, till late 20th century, Patrick’s day celebration in North America was far more popular than even in Ireland.
The celebrations are always marked with grand parades, wearing green clothes, and shamrocks on the lapel, in various forms. The traditional Irish music, céilithe, is played in various sessions. Marching bands, cultural organizations, NGOs, charity organizations, social service groups, different fraternities, and even military and fire brigades form part of the procession parade. The parades now have assumed the character of a carnival.
The parades in Ireland aim the usage of the Irish language, as the period from 1st March to 17th March is celebrated as the Irish language week or Seachtain na Gaeilge.
Tourism Ireland also uses the day to promote Ireland tourism, and over 300 world famous monuments, spread across fifty countries across the globe, are lit up green, as a go green on St. Patrick’s day message. Some prominent examples are the Opera house at Sydney, and the Auckland Sky tower
Christians visits churches, attending specially organized masses. It may be noted that the fasting and drinking prohibition, which goes through Lent, are lifted for this day. Drinking beer, whiskey or ceder, fun, merrymaking, wearing special clothes have become the hallmark of celebration of this festival. A typical custom, or drowning the shamrock, that originated in Ireland, has now become a common part of the celebration everywhere. In this, a shamrock leaf is immersed into a glass or beer, ceder or whiskey, and then the drink is consumed. This is done as a toast to St. Patrick. The shamrock is swallowed, or is thrown over the shoulder, as to welcome good luck. Kids indulge in sweets and candies.
Green has become the colour of the event, with green beer, river water being coloured green, and of course, green dresses. The shamrock is a necessary accessory, as it is believed that the saint had used this leaf to explain the trinity of the Father, The Son, and the Holy spirit. The shamrock, or copies of it, are worn in distinct places like lapel, coats, hats etc.
On Saint Patrick's Day, it is customary to wear shamrocks, green clothing or green accessories. Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. Green ribbons are quite as popular as well. The green colour was probably popular from the fraternity of The Friendly Brothers of St. Patrick, which was founded way back in 1750, and who adopted Green as its official colour. However, association with the green colour goes back further, in the 1640. The Irish Catholic Confederation had used the green harp fag as its flag then, which brought the colour green into the picture.
Shamrock, by far, is the undisputed winner, when it comes to symbols for St. Patrick’s day. Others are green ribbon, any green wear, snakes and serpents and even the Celtic cross. The harp, Leprechaun, pot of gold, god coins also form part of the popular symbols of the day.
Today, the event is an international festival of celebration and honouring of the Irish culture, which have given so much to the history of mankind.