Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!

Who do I know who told me that the Saint Patrick’s Day traditions that we hold sacred are not actually from the old country but from right here in the USA. I forgot who I talked to so I asked Google and she told me :

“St. Patrick’s Day is only about a hundred years old, and it didn’t actually originate in Ireland. It came from ye old Emerald Island, Manhattan in New York City, at the beginning of the 20th century, when Irish immigrants to New York’s Lower East Side adopted corned beef from their Jewish neighbors. Another tradition that came from the New World, not Ireland, is the drunken revelry of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Back in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day had been a religious holiday meant for quiet reflection and church, in fact, pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick’s Day until the 1970s, but Irish Americans decided it was an occasion to show off their numbers and political clout by marching through big cities. Eventually, the Ireland Irish followed suit. Still another Irish tradition that came from America, not Ireland, is that of the friendly, mischievous leprechaun. Even though the legend of leprechauns existed back in Ireland, the little green guys were a nasty race you wouldn’t want to meet up with. But Disney and Lucky Charms cereal helped put an end to that image. Chicago started dyeing its river green on St. Patrick’s Day in 1962. It’s vegetable dye, believed to be harmless.”

I know I just found this out last year, but who told me? I forget…

Isn’t it interesting though? …And here we celebrate like it is an ancient tradition that the Irish are entitled to drink and disrupt for the sake of their love for their favorite saint, and yet it was a purpose to gather and celebrate with their compatriots and acknowledge how they missed their homeland even though they were building a new community in a foreign country. Making their own traditions in the new world.

One Response to “Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!”

  1. Michele says:

    I didn’t know any of this, and my Grandpa, Patrick Tim came over on the boat. You would think he could have told us more, but I guess we didn’t ask.

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