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St. Patrick’s Day: Here and on The Emerald Isle

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In our previous posts, we talked a lot about Irish folklore, the origins of St. Patrick’s Day, and how we love to celebrate here in the United States with green beer. But how about the real differences between the celebrations both in the United States in in Ireland? Let’s take a closer look on how both countries celebrate this special day.
In Ireland
St. Patrick’s Day is considered to be the National Holiday of the country and is widely celebrated throughout the nation. Parades, feasts, and festivals are all part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration and in many cases, festivals go on all week long celebrating Irish culture and history. Many Irish speakers are brought in to educate others on traditional Irish culture through participation in events throughout the country. Also, like in other parts of the world, parades as well as the wearing of shamrocks and green clothing are widely practiced. For the church in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is regarded as an official church holiday by both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic Church, honored through religious masses, rituals, and feasts.

In the United States
For the US, St. Patrick’s Day is a time of celebration and of course, parades. Some of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades include the ones in Savannah, Georgia, New York City, New York, and Scranton, Pennsylvania. Wearing green, dyeing public fountains and bodies of water green, decorating with shamrocks, and drinking green beer are often part of the celebrations that occur throughout the nation. However, unlike Irish celebrations of the holiday, St. Patrick’s Day in the US is not as heavily regarded as a religious. Both Irish and non-Irish peoples tend to celebrate this occasion through the nation.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day – Part 2

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Welcome back to the blog to read more about the history of St. Patrick’s Day.  Today here in the USA we celebrate St. Patty’s Day in a huge way.  Our history states that the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade happened right here in NYC not in Ireland.  The New York City area was the home to many Irish immigrants back in the mid 1700’s and in 1762 NYC had its first parade celebrating St. Patrick.  After that each Irish settlement enlisted its members to celebrate in a grand style reliving the days of the old country in dance, drink and celebration.  In 1848 the Irish settlers decided to pool their efforts and have one extremely large celebration to honor St. Patrick and that tradition continues today.

Each year more than 3 million people line the 1.5 mile parade route to view over 150,000 participants in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  This parade is the world’s oldest civilian parade and is the largest parade in the USA as people stay and many stand for over 5 hours to watch it.  Not to be outdone, Chicago began to dye the Chicago River green beginning back in 1962, a tradition that continues today.  The largest celebration of St. Patrick’s Day remains in America however Japan, Singapore and Russia are now home to some grand productions of Parade celebrations as well.

Now here’s some trivia for you all so you can impress your drinking buddies while celebrating this year!  Have you ever wonder why the color green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day?  Well wonder no longer; Looking at the calendar, you notice that spring falls just 4 days later on March 21st and we all know that spring represents the renewing of life (new growth, new grass, new flowers etc.).  Just as spring begins new life the Irish settlers began new life in America, the color green is significant in the renewing of nature around us and therefore the renewing of spirit and life in the United States.  So the color green has been significant to the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Now how about that Green Beer everyone talks about?  Is it really easy to make and if so is it just a drop of green food coloring as you expect it to be?  Well there are different recipes but I will stick to the “frat boys” one because when it comes to drinking beer; these boys have mastered this one!  They suggest using a clear mug and light colored beer for best results and to add exactly 6 drops of green food coloring to the bottom of the glass then pour the beer on top.  Less than six drops gives a more olive color green and not the brilliant emerald green that is desired.  So to learn more facts about St. Patrick’s Day come back and visit us again for our final Part 3.  (Remember everything Irish is in 3’s!)

Looking to send the perfect St. Patrick’s Day gift?  Check out our line of Irish gifts, has baskets, cookies and even St. Patrick’s Day dog gifts!