A British Perspective
It is rare these days that Britain celebrates holidays belonging to other nations, however St Patrick’s day is not only an exception to this rule, but a beautiful one indeed.
When the holiday in questioning is based on the premise that for one glorious day during the Christian Easter period of Lent, alcohol is allowed, of course we as a nation are going to show our solidarity with the Irish and join them in their festivities. Strap on some green clothes, order a pint of Guinness and get ready to be drunk and merry; a tried and tested recipe that has worked for the Irish, for countless centuries on end.
With festivals and markets setup from London to Liverpool, Manchester to Glasgow, it is fair to say that Great Britain really turns up to celebrate the day that British born Patrick, now the patron saint of Ireland, brought Christianity to the shores of the green clad nation.
You may have ordered the regulation pint of Guinness yesterday, but why don’t you try change it up and sample the finest Whiskey’s Ireland has to offer. Rumour has it that around 1000 A.D, a select group of Irish monks travelled the vastness of the Mediterranean and, by some miracle, they discovered the finest and purest of Whiskey production techniques and sensibly brought it back to the motherland.
I recommend giving Jameson’s Original Whiskey a go, which has a noticeably smooth taste in comparison to the majority of my preferred Scotch whiskeys, and is perfectly accompanied with a double measure of coke or any other mixer.
A Traditional Perspective
The 17th March is a day of celebration which every Irish person looks forward to, and it never ceases to amaze me how many people suddenly discover their Irish heritage when the big day arrives.
Coming from an Irish background with most of my family based in Dublin, St. Patrick’s day has always been an exciting and special day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, along with the country we are so proud to come from. Our house, like many, is adorned with huge Irish flags and emerald green shamrocks, with banners and ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’ cards covering every surface.
For the children it is a time as they get to dress up, usually in badges, feather boas, leprechaun hats- anything green, white or gold really! For the adults, it is an excuse to visit the pub for that famous pint of Guinness, which many places now seem to dye green in the spirit of the celebrations. There is always a parade on in the major cities which I always went to when I was younger, and they seem to happen across the world, from Chicago to London. There are huge floats and Irish dancers, traditional Celtic music which everyone knows the words to, and an electric atmosphere as the crowds fully immerse themselves in the Irish spirit.
It is like no other, St. David’s day or St. George’s day just doesn’t compare. We Irish are very proud of our heritage and love celebrating it with everyone else, whether you are Irish or not!