Today is St. Patrick’s Day.
Yes, its origins stem from the Irish although St. Patrick may not even have been Irish but that’s another story. For the most part, it’s an American tradition to celebrate all things stereotypically Irish: green beer, green rivers, shamrock shirts, dancing, music, hats and beads. I would suggest that today is really not about the Irish exclusively but rather a celebration of being ‘one.’ It is a day to celebrate together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or otherwise. What a novel idea!
You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And most of those who choose to celebrate today are likely not truly Irish or even a sliver of green. And that’s the point.
There are a lot of silly “holidays” but what I love about St. Patrick’s Day is that it brings people of all kinds together to celebrate with friends, family, and strangers alike just to have some fun. Sure, there are some folks that say it’s an American bastardization of Irish culture but I think they are missing the point and being a little grumpy. Lighten up and have some fun!
I’ve written in the past about my belief in the importance of traditions and St. Patrick’s Day is one of them. Each year, we gather as family and friends (of all religions and backgrounds) to wear a lot of green, listen to some music, watch the Irish step dancers, dance like nobody’s looking, and meet some new friends along the way. It’s a joy to watch countless children come together in front of a band, strangers abound, to hold hands and dance like fools. They make new friends, come out of their shells for a few short hours, and learn that every year on March 17th, everyone is Irish.
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!
(Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your family, friends, and kids? What is your tradition?