March 17, St. Patrick’s Day – the one day where many people around the world, irrespective of where they come from, decide to wear something “green” and let loose.
For others, St. Patrick’s Day is a purely religious milestone dedicated to celebrating the man who introduced Christianity to Ireland.
Truth is, there are many variants of celebration methods and motives where St. Patrick’s Day is concerned. Despite the variations – playing music, eating cabbage, going to church, “wetting the shamrock” – St. Patrick’s Day has grown to be the “oldest civilian parade” in the world. One may even argue that St. Patrick’s global relevance is not despite the associated variations, it’s because of it.
Regardless of colour, tribe, and religion, St. Patrick’s Day holds a special place in the hearts of many. Here are some of the reasons why.
Home away from home
The first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in 1601, not in Ireland, but in Florida of the United States, according to this infographic by Betway online casino:
Back in the 19th century, Irish immigrants in the United States were not living on the best terms. Discriminatory practices and racial stereotypes against the Irish were the order of the day.
At that crucial time, St. Patrick’s Day offered Irish immigrants a chance to gather, celebrate and show unity. To this day, many historians believe that St. Patrick’s Day was a game changer in the Irishman’s American journey.
Wherever they are, St. Patrick’s Day is a moment for all Irishmen to meet and strengthen their bond through joyous activity.
A “greener” world
Numerous social outfits and NGOs are already using the colour green associated with St. Patrick’s Day to enhance their views on the need to embrace progressive environmental policies.
The Irish government and institutions like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are all seizing the moment to enlighten people and make decisions that help preserve the earth.
For environmentalists and climate change advocates, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to speak and be heard.
A global outlook
St. Patrick may have been Irish, he may have introduced Christianity to Ireland, Irishmen may have started St. Patrick’s Day celebrations…
But it’s gotten much bigger than that. The modern-day celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is so much bigger than how it started. People from all over the world, across all continents, gather every seventeenth of March to make St. Patrick’s Day count.
St. Patrick’s Day is commemorated in numerous other cities around the world including – Buenos Aires, Tokyo, New York, Sydney, London, Mumbai, Sarajevo and more.
One peculiar mode of celebration is in Chicago, where fifty pounds of non-harmful vegetable dye is poured into the river to make it look green.
Most young people around the world honour St Patrick’s day by drinking a lot. In New York, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by people of very diverse backgrounds doing Irish things while having fun too.
In a world where more things appear to separate people and cause strife, St. Patrick’s Day is a rarity, dedicated to reinforcing the values of unity and joy in many separate societies – even if it’s just for one day.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has made the last two St. Patrick’s days feel lonely, better times will come, and in the not-so-distant future, St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations will create that special atmosphere with that special message again.