Saint Patricks Day, Oh Saint Patricks Day
Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a religious and cultural holiday celebrated on the 17th of March named after one of the most recognized patron saints of Ireland, Saint Patrick. It was declared the official Christian feast day in the early 17th century observed by the Catholic Church and Anglican Communion. The day commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, it’s a holiday to celebrate the Irish culture but in this modern era, it is an occasion to get belligerently hammered off of pints of bright green mudslides delivered to you by a waiter in a button clad vest at your local TJ Flannigan’s while debating on ordering one more order of loaded potato skins or making out with the nearest redhead due to your blurry beer goggles and infatuation with leprechauns and OF COURSE to perpetuate racial stereotypes. I’m sure all of you remember how I celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day last year, drinking Bacardi as orange as the locks of a leprechaun and blasting Drop Kick Murphies, ending the night in the practice of Irish yoga.
But since traveling toIreland and being the worldly girl that you know me to be, I paused and thought about the practice of celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in America and what it really means.
Now many of you may know, I am Irish, just look at my name, and I recently visited the motherland exploring all of the UK and really getting in touch with my heritage. However I am from Hawaii, I was raised in an Asian pacific culture and while I eat corned beef and cabbage once a year on this day, and I was just as bad as the average American when it came to the true celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day and what it means to be Irish on this day.
We dye ponds green, and wear green apparel so we don’t get pinched; but what I’m wondering is, will we ever be able to properly celebrate a culture on an international holiday without perpetuating horrible stereotypes and using occasions just like these to get belligerently schwasted? I’ve been to Ireland, there is many a pub, and lots of Guinness on tap ready to be guzzled around. But there is so much more to the culture and so much beauty in such a small place that I think it is worth doing your research and celebrating properly. I went to the Guiness Factory, and the Jameson Distillery, I went on a tour to Wicklow, I saw the book of Kells and visited Trinity college, not to mention ate a ton of meat pies and saw some live music, THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO AND TO CELEBRATE IRISH PEOPLE ARE AWESOME!
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t drink, the Irish love their alcohol, go to a pub, have a pint, chortle with your mates, but maybe have a moment to commemorate the Irish culture in a less obvious way. Ie, watch some fantastic Irish films, “The Secret of Roan Inish,” “My Left Foot,” “Once” or “The Secret of Kells,” eat some boiled potatoes or maybe listen to The Cranberries while dancing in circles and trying to yoodle like that awesome lead singer "ZOOOOMBIE BIE BIE WATS IN YO HEAAAAAD". You don’t need to get shitfaced on every holiday; you don’t need to join the bandwagon by puking up your guts listening to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” on repeat. Throughout history white men have been the oppressor but the interesting thing about Irish culture is that the Irish people were oppressed in America for a long time. Working as maids and factory workers who sometimes weren’t allowed to even attend church on Sunday, we have to remember that the Irish suffered a lot to live out the American dream and its something so easily forgotten when talking of white privledge in this modern era. We must not see Saint Patrick's Day as just another day to get drunk, but we should celebrate the Irish people for what they've accomplished so far, not only in our country but their lush history and visionary ideas when it comes to potato products. I think we owe it to them, not to diminish everything they've worked for and their cultural heritage means by objectify their culture with creatures like the Lucky Charms Leprechaun and shirts that say "Irish I was drunk."
Photos in Ireland by me and bottom photo by Kalia Mederois
What are your thoughts on Saint Patrick's Day?
Have a great day
and please keep it sassy
also click here to read my post on Valentines Day