Today, we are all Irish

That’s right laddies and lassies, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, celebrated internationally on March 17 every year. The holiday is basically an excuse to hit the bars and grab yourself a Guinness or two…or ten (if you’re 21, of course). I myself don’t have a shred of Irish blood in me but I would be lying if I said that I never participated in one of the main activities that goes hand in hand with celebrating the holiday. Saint Patrick’s Day started in fact as a very real holiday named after Saint Patrick who is regarded as one of the most commonly recognized patron saints of Ireland. However, while it certainly did originate as a Catholic holiday, it has gradually become more and more of a celebration of Irish culture in general. This means that there are plenty of brands associated with the holiday and Irish culture as a whole, whether positive or more negative. It could arguably be one of the most branded holidays in the world as there are several things that always come to mind when you think of the holiday. These include the leprechaun, the shamrock, all things green, and alcohol.

Today it is celebrated by Irish and non-Irish alike and, as we all know, it is one of the leading days for consumption of alcohol in the United States. It is a holiday that businesses, bars and restaurants all pour loads of money into every year as they each compete and advertise themselves as “the hottest St. Patty’s party in town”. Even Wilmington is no stranger to capitalizing on the event and promoting the downtown or beach nightlife.

Also, green is the color and order of the day, especially in terms of clothing. I specifically remember being pinched, (affectionately, of course), for not wearing green one year in elementary school. It is a holiday that many of us learned about years and years ago when we were just little kids and are now at the point where we can fully enjoy it (if you’re 21, of course). All over the U.S. numerous cities throw Saint Patrick’s Day parades and even up the ante in some cases as with the Chicago river being dyed green for the day each year for the celebration.

Thus, this unique holiday has become not only a staple of Irish-American heritage but also a staple of American heritage as a whole. It is a holiday that basically anyone can celebrate in one way or another. From green alcohol to tacky green t-shirts to those giant leprechaun hats, Saint Patrick’s Day definitely ranks up there with Christmas, Easter, and Halloween as one of  the most branded, and most fun holidays in my book. So all that being said, throw on some green, get a little loud, grab a pint or two (if you’re 21, of course), dance a jig, and kiss someone Irish!

Eric Holtzman, Maxann Keller, Ryan Kelley, Chad Graves, Katelyn Truss

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13 thoughts on “Today, we are all Irish

  1. I agree with you completely. So many companies capitalize on this holiday because they know that majority of the population is going to celebrate it. Weeks leading up to this holiday is evidence enough. Clothing stores are bombarded with green articles of clothing. Alcohol companies advertise ways to make green drinks. The night life strives off of who has the biggest crowd and best drink specials. Even for younger kids, if you did not wear green on this day, you would be pinched numerous times, probably way more than you anticipated. St. Patrick’s day is none the lease, one of the most important holidays companies depend on.

  2. I agree also. Getting older, the importance of St. Patrick’s day has become a bigger and bigger deal. Being in college and experiencing night life is really when it is pushed upon you to join in the festivities. I do remember as a child celebrating it in school though. One time my teacher swore there was a leprechaun behind our cubbies and we spent most of the day investigating all of the glitter trying to find him. It is a memory I will always remember about elementary school. I like that a traditionally Catholic holiday has turned into an international celebration. I look forward to St. Patrick’s day every year. My aunt’s birthday also happens to fall on St. Patrick’s day. She always ends up getting something green or a shamrock for her birthday, and after all these years she now hates the color green! But I love St. Patrick’s day and I cannot wait for it to come around again next year!

  3. I would also have to agree with the fact that as I get older, St. Patrick’s Day slowly has a new meaning. Attending Catholic schools throughout my childhood, this holiday was widely celebrated. I vividly remember when I was in the 2nd grade, a “leprechaun” bombarded our classroom, knocking over the desks and throwing paper all over the place. Throughout the room, chocolate gold coins were left in various places for us to find. As the years have gone by, some traditions have slowly evolved. Wearing green is, of course, a must; unless you want to get pinched by an acquaintance or even a stranger! However, as a college student, I have noticed that there is a definite emphasis on celebrating in a different way-drinking. Up until the 17th, everyone is constantly comparing St. Patrick’s Day plans whether it’s partying it up in Savannah, GA or having a few “green beers” downtown. Ultimately, this is definitely a holiday that is much appreciated by both children and adults alike.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this entry. I had no idea about some of the information that was stated. My whole life, March 17th has been the generic ‘day of green’. I never knew about it having to do with anything Catholic. I assumed there was a ‘St. Patrick’ but I had never really thought about it. The holiday is so commercialized into just everything being green.

  5. St. Patrick’s Day seems such a big deal here in the United States, honestly the first time I’ve heard about it was last year. I live in the Netherlands and there it’s not really a holiday, maybe a few Irish pubs are celebrating it, but that’s it!

    I was surprised to see all the green clothes and merchandise in the stores and at first I didn’t really understand the meaning of celebrating St. Patricks day in the United States, because it’s Irish. But know when I heard more about it, I can see the influence of the Irish immigrants a few centuries ago and their attempt to keep their Irish culture and behavior.

    I think the whole idea of adopting a foreign holiday is beautiful, I think in general people will become closer to each other this way. But I think the meaning of St. Partick’s Day is a little bit lost, I mean to color a river green and drinking beer seems to be the only things that matter. I think it’s a shame that a holiday is that commercialized, it doesn’t really matter what the thought behind the holiday is these days, the only thing that matter is partying! Too bad for the culture.

  6. It is a testament to the power of advertising and branding in our society that celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day is a ritual that many people of various ethnic backgrounds, religions, and cultures partake in. It is interesting to juxtapose the history and meaning of the holiday with the current traditions and symbols that we associate with St. Patrick’s Day. Items such as clothing, accessories, face paint, stickers, food coloring, and alcohol are all part of industries that capitalize on these traditions in order to maximize their revenue. St. Patrick’s Day itself has become a brand whose story appeals to many different people all over the world.

  7. I would have to disagree with this post. I think that St. Patricks day is a holiday that cherishes and looks into the roots of heritages all over the world and how we have diverged into one. It is true America can take anything and put it into a holiday “fashion” and to put it to good active status, but it does have meaning behind it and can celebrate the good Irish roots that have found prosperous times in this country.

  8. I agree with the article completely, but this goes for most of our holidays. Americans are always looking to comercialize anything, especially holidays. I can’t think of a single holiday off of the top of my head that doesn’t have some type of celebration attached to it. St. Patrick’s Day is just another holiday to add to the list, that may not actually mean anything to the majority of the people celebrationg but why not celebrate? However, I do think it is strange as to what a large holiday it has become. In many places schools even take the day off which seems a bit rediculous to me but once again, why not think of just anothing excuse for a break and a party?

  9. I agree to this to some degree. St. Patty’s Day is absolutely a huge drinking bash in America and just another reason to both party, spend money, and advertise if you’re in the hospitality industry. I think that since this is a college blog the interpretations of what this day is about is pretty biased. When I was younger it was absolutely just another reason to drink with the added pressure of dressing up like an idiot. I’m not in my early 20’s anymore and now my perspective has changed drastically. I believe this day to be simply for mostly college students (with some older folks too) to party. Let’s not forget though that college students are a minority and the things college students do is not the norm when you look at our culture as a whole.

  10. I completly agree with this blog about St. Patrick’s Day. Just as Halloween has an entirely different meaning now that I’m older and and I have a different way of celebrating, so does St. Patty’s Day. This year I was in Scotland for the holiday, which many Irish come to as well, and I noticed that the Americans that I was in company with celebrate it more than the actual Irish did. Someone actually asked why we Americans celebrate it more than they do and our respose was “it’s just another reason to drink,” which they completely understood.

  11. St. Patrick’s Day, along with Halloween, are the two holidays that I feel change the most for you as you get older. Their transition from childhood fun to going hand-in-hand with alcohol shows how these holidays can be marketed to a bigger audience. The green everything associated with St. Patrick’s Day proves beneficial to advertisers who have taken full advantage of the marketability of St. Patrick’s Day, and other holidays. I know that over the past few years I have wore green, drank green beer, and made green jello to celebrate this holiday, but other than everything green and drinking a little too much, I was pretty unaware of what I was celebrating. I liked reading the information shared in this blog because the immense branding of this holiday can easily brush away the reasons behind the holiday.

  12. As I get older and since I’ve been in college, I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the ways that we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Over the years, St. Patrick’s Day has grown into a hallmark holiday with brands everywhere taking advantage of the green leprechaun motif, and I admit – I’ve joined in before. As great as it is for cultures to be able to come together and celebrate the day, I think that it is a shame that it has become a drunken holiday and just another reason to party. I had no idea that St. Patrick’s Day was originally a Catholic holiday, nor did I know anything else about the holiday except that it is represented by the leprechauns, shamrocks and the color green. Because of this, the actual holiday has seemed to have lost its meaning – similar to Halloween, as a few other comments mentioned.

  13. I too agree with the blog, “Today, We are all Irish.” I am and catholic and Irish; so I have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day every since I was little. I remember my mom always taking the time to making the “special” Irish dinner which consisted of Ham and cabbage; and of course having green food dye in our iced tea and in our vanilla cake. Dr. Seuss would be proud. It is always been a fun holiday to celebrate has brought my family closer other the years. However, I never realized to how big of a holiday St. Patrick’s day is until came to college. Here it doesn’t matter your heritage if you’re available on March 17th your celebrating! I think it’s great that all different types of people celebrate this holiday because it brings everyone together no matter your background.

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