03-17-2016 Journal – Lá Fhéile Pádraig!   Leave a comment

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It’s that time of the year again to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s another one of those holidays that most people celebrate but they’re not entirely sure why. For most of us it’s just a reason to get out, drink a little too much and make fools of ourselves.  Take it from one who knows.

Since my heritage includes a few folks of the Scotch/Irish persuasion I’ve been known to occasionally get a little crazy on St. Paddies Day. Truthfully it was just an excuse in my younger days to drink too much, dye my hair green, and dance a jig or two after swilling a couple quarts of green beer.

It’s been quite some time since I really celebrated the day but in the spirit of the holiday I’ll supply you with a quick primer explaining why it was originally created.

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Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion(especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.

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That has been your short history lesson for today,  not that any of you really care WHY we celebrate.   Every ethnic group has it’s holidays so why shouldn’t the Irish get on board as well.  After spending many years in the Boston area I can tell you for certain this holiday is taken seriously there and celebrated heartily. It may not be the same celebration you’d see in Ireland but I can guarantee a few things. You will have green hair, you will have many new friends you may never see again, you probably won’t remember the entire evening or the parade, and you will have the mother of all hangovers that could last for days.

I can live with that.

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