17th of March is a most popular celebration of the Saint Patron of Ireland, St. Patrick, and more, as it became the celebration of Irish culture and heritage accompanied by traditional games, dances, foods, parades, of course drinking and wearing green. Which also shows how the party has overcome its religious significance and it always falls during the period of Lent which foresees fasting and austerity, which slightly clashes with the high consumption of ale and Iris bacon.
Patrick was a Roman Briton who after being released from slavery by Irish marauders returned to the green island to convert its inhabitants to Christianity, and that was also when the clover became the symbol of Ireland, as he used its three leafs to explain the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
The festivity expanded from a religious one to a broader cultural one in the Americas, becoming a celebration of Irishness by the large migrant Irish communities that moved to the New World (interestingly enough it started in the Spanish colonies). Until today, when probably the most popular St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in New York, a day of remembrance and reconnection to the roots for Irish-Americans, and celebrated by others too who appreciate a good laugh and a pint of ale. Although it was not always like that, the initial migration to the Americas was made of protestants, and the first mass migration of Irish people following the great famine were catholics and inevitably the two groups clashed, as the first comers greatly discriminated the latecomers and their faith, Saint Patrick’s Day became the occasion to assert identity, rights as well as numbers of Irish catholics, a way to count themselves and show others their numbers and great political weight they could have during elections.
It is likely that every city in the world has an Irish Pub nowadays, who will likely celebrate Saint Patrick’s, therefore, Slainte to everyone.
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