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