Monday 17 March 2014

St Patrick's Day

Happy St Patrick’s day everyone, I promise this isn’t a rant post – it's just a collection of contradictions that I’ve slapped together about how I feel about St Patrick's Day.

My family and I have always celebrated St Patrick's day since as far back as I can remember. My entire family is Irish, so my sisters and I were brought up in an Irish community; we attended a catholic school, we went to church every day, attended Sunday school and mass every week until we were teenagers, we went to a lot of Irish clubs/bars/gatherings in and around London and of course, we learned céilí (Irish dancing).*

I’m not going to sit here and write the history behind St Patrick ’s Day (you can easily find that out with a quick google search - but no, he didn't literally chase snakes out of Ireland!) I just wanted to address what this day means to me and how it’s perceived.

For me, St Patrick's Day is like any other holiday – I spend time with my family, we eat food, we talk, we just enjoy each other’s company and, yes, sometimes, we go out and have a few drinks to celebrate the day.

As soon as I mentioned it was St Patrick’s day coming up to a few friends and coworkers, I was of course was met by the inevitable ‘Oh cool, what pub you going to?’, ‘Irish drinking on their Saints day - duh!!!’ ‘Yay - Another reason to get pissed!’ 'St Patrick's day = Beer Day' ‘Are you going to drink Guinness?’ – You get the idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m used to this response, so it doesn't actually bother me, (besides, it’s been written that St Patrick liked a stiff drink or two himself) I honestly find this idea of an ‘Irish Stereotype’ amusing to deal with. My only tiny gripe is that I tend to think that people have forgotten that for some, St Patrick's Day this is still a religious day.

I’m not going to sit and preach the word of the lord, calm down, I haven't been to church properly in a decade and I don’t really consider myself completely catholic (I like science too much) – I’m just highlighting this fact – St Patrick’s Day is a holy day for a few religions; so I guess I'm requesting for people to have a bit of respect.

ANYWAY – I’m not going to sit and moan that people chose to celebrate this day with drinking and partying! More power to you. I love a good party and drink myself, so if you want to go out and have a few bevy’s on or around St Patrick’s day, I’ll happily consider you an honorary Irish person and welcome you with open arms, because lets face it, I’d rather have it the way it is now for St Patrick's Day, than how it is for Saint George’s day, which seems to be forgotten about each year.

So, Happy St Patrick's Day again, are any of you celebrating it? If so, how? (Don't worry if you say you're going out drinking! Haha - I'm not having a pop!!)

*Note, I'm not stating that you have to be Catholic to be Irish - I'm just stating how I grew up.

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