Irish for a Day

The history of Saint Patrick’s Day has its origins in the Catholic religion. Although St. Patrick is the most widely recognized, he is one of many patron saints of Ireland. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious day of feasting. Much like a federal holiday in the United States, banks, shops, and businesses are all closed on March 17th in Ireland.

Although St. Patrick was born in Britain and the very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York in 1762, the holiday has become a general celebration of all things Irish. Until 1931 Ireland mostly celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by attending church and enjoying the traditional and now infamous “St. Paddy’s meal” of corned beef and cabbage.

The Wearing of the Green

Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is a worldwide tradition, despite the fact that the color blue was most often associated with Saint Patrick. There is even a sky blue shade called ‘Saint Patrick blue’. The term ‘the wearing of the green’ came from Saint Patrick himself, using the shamrock to explain the holy trinity to Irish who didn’t subscribe to Christianity.

In America, the green of St. Patrick’s Day is taken to a level the Irish couldn’t have imagined. The city of Chicago has dyed the river green since the 1960’s. Cities in Georgia, Indiana, Washington, Missouri and South Carolina commemorate St. Patrick’s Day by dying or painting parts of the city green.

St. Patrick’s Day partygoers celebrate by finding creative ways to wear green. Whether it’s leprechaun costumes, giant four-leaf clovers, or “kiss me, I’m Irish” t-shirts, wearing green creatively is appreciated. Plastic green hats or green glitter hats are common headgear on St. Paddy’s Day. The costume theme of St. Patrick’s Day is: green, green, and a little more green.

Around the world green beer is a popular choice on St. Patrick’s Day to wash down your corned beef & cabbage!

Out of Ireland

People from around the world look forward to March 17th to celebrate their genuine or honorary Irish-ness. From eating a traditional Irish meal and drinking green beer to wearing green in the most imaginative ways, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in Japan, Argentina, New Zealand, and Canada even though it is only a provincial holiday there.

The United States has been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a big way since 1762. Irish soldiers on duty for the colonial army of Britain held a parade to celebrate their Irish heritage on March 17.

Parades are held around the world to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day, with bagpipes and kilts as the most worn outfit of the day. Whether you’re of Irish descent or just wish you were, St. Patrick’s Day has become a secular holiday where all are allowed to join in the festivities.

The popularity of St. Patrick’s Day in the United States prompted the Irish government to begin celebrating a little more…vigorously. In 1995, the government underwent a national movement to make the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day a truly Irish affair. Not to be outdone, Ireland now celebrates the holiday as a weeklong festival with food, music, dancing and a general celebration of being well, Irish.

Master the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl

The pub crawl is generally a rite of passage for brides-to-be, recently minted 21-year-olds, and just about any other group of people with something to celebrate. Put simply the pub crawl is when a group of people go from one pub or bar to the next, enjoying at least one alcoholic beverage in each establishment.

Since no holiday is more synonymous with pub crawls than St. Patrick’s Day, let’s get you prepared for your very first (or 1,oooth) St. Paddy’s Day pub crawl.

Pub Crawl Attire

The most important detail of a St. Paddy’s Day pub crawl—other than which establishments to visit—is what to wear. Pub crawl participants stand out from the rest of the bar patrons because their attire generally shares a common theme.

The t-shirt is perhaps the most widely accepted pub crawl attire. T-shirts adorning naughty St. Patrick’s Day graphics or phrases are often worn so that participants can get the signature of a bar owner or bartender to commemorate each stop on the pub crawl. Sororities and Fraternities often use the signatures on the t-shirt to determine the “winners” of the St. Patrick’s Day pub crawls. The winner is the group with the most signatures from different pubs.

St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawls

Not all pub crawls are created equal however. Groups all around the world organize bar crawls for charity, for fun or just to celebrate March 17th.

Themed pub crawls frequently require participants to wear a certain color—like green for St. Patrick’s Day pub crawls–to promote their cause or event. St. Patrick’s Day seems to be the favorite pub crawl holiday, with participants dressing as leprechauns, life-size four leaf clovers, and generally any and all shades of green.

St. Patrick’s Day pub crawls are the perfect opportunity to break out your most outrageous costume, since the entire world is dressed in emerald. Those pub crawlers feeling extra in the spirit dress as green bagpipers and go from pub to pub singing Irish melodies. Don’t sing “Oh, Danny Boy” in Chicago pubs however because the song was banned on St. Patrick’s Day due to its drunken sadness.

Pub Crawl Comfort

As fun as it may be to go all out for your pub crawl costume or outfit, comfort should be your primary concern. Really great pub crawls attempt to hit at least 7 bars for the night, and the truly spectacular drinkers aim for 10 on St. Patrick’s Day pub crawls. What does this mean for the novice crawler? It means that pub crawls last for hours and the most effective mode of transportation is usually the feet.

Walking from pub to pub can become a hassle if you aren’t wearing the right shoes, and this advice isn’t just for ladies. Costumes with complicated or impossible to walk in while inebriated shoes may garner a few laughs, but your feet won’t be laughing by the time you hit up pub #5. Imagine how sore your feet will be after 8 hours in buckled leprechaun shoes!

Don’t delay, snatch up your Paddy Day costume now, and get ready to enjoy your green-filled adventure!