Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all you temporary Irish Catholics using this celebration as a day to drink green beer and pinch people. For generations, March 17 has been set aside to honor St. Patrick who (according to legend) chased all of Ireland’s snakes into the ocean, turned water into green beer, wore clothes made of shamrocks and gave birth to Lucky the Leprechaun of Lucky Charms fame.
(They’re magically delicious.)
The Irish have a long, complicated history that I will not describe here. Because it’s long and complicated. Suffice it to say that St. Patrick’s Day is an Americanized version of the religious feast day in Ireland. But there are still several reasons (at least five) why you should observe this viridescent holiday.
1. Eating Irish food. The only reason to eat corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie or soda bread and potatoes is to remind yourself that Irish food really sucks.
2. Listening to Irish music. Throw in your Chieftains or Dubliners CDs to hear Irish musicians, or enjoy the melodic twang of Celtic music, the indecipherable lyrics of Irish pub songs and the insufferable wailing of banshees the Irish call “music.” Remind yourself that Irish music is an acquired taste.
3. Attending parades. Enjoy a Top o’ The Morning as you stand in dismal, rainy weather, waiting for drunk people dressed like leprechauns to stumble down the street whilst singing Irish folk songs (see #2) and urinating in the gutters. The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the biggest in the country. I’m not sure what this says about Boston.
(After the parade, this dog was found crying by the side of the road.)
4. Finding the Pot o’ Gold. Every child knows if you catch a leprechaun you get three wishes or his pot of gold coins. What children don’t know is that leprechauns are meaner than s*** and will not hesitate to Dornálaíocht the hell out of you. Why do you think Irish people know how to box so well? I spent an inordinate amount of my childhood trying to track down the little green rascals, hoping to find all that gold so I could buy candy.
5. Enjoying a good pub crawl. After all the food, music, parades, leprechauns and shamrocks, real St. Patrick’s Day observers end up sprawled across several tables in the local bar. After being jolted awake by the noisy patrons, these observers crawl (literally) to the next bar for more drinking: Because no religious holiday is complete without a massive hangover the next day.
Bonus. You get to say “Eejit.” Keep things jolly by calling your friends idiots in the language o’ the holiday. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, ye eejits!