- Published on Friday, 16 March 2012 16:46
- Written by Simon Kennedy
Once a year, Ireland takes a tactical time-out to revel in all things green. Businesses, shops and schools close down, leaving the country’s pubs open to a tidal wave of shamrocks, luck and drunken singing.
The Irish are known to be big drinkers. It comes as no surprise, then, that a national holiday celebrating all that is Irish involves a heck of a lot of boozing.
I am going to be telling you about St Patrick’s Day from my experience of last year’s celebrations because of the apparent events that took place on that night. Unfortunately, I remember nothing.
I am, therefore, relying on those embarrassing drunken stories that my friends still have not gotten tired of reminding me of. Now I will be the first to admit that my friends’ hazy recollections of my social misadventures are not the most reliable of sources for a newspaper article, but I’m trying to make lemonade here, so bear with me.
I have been told by my friends (whom I trust dearly) that I made a complete fool of myself. Apparently, I spoke in an Irish accent the whole night (I can’t pull off an Irish accent), and I bellowed out traditional Irish folk songs (I don’t know any Irish songs).
I even river-danced to every tune while shouting out "Top o’ the mornin’ to ye lassie" to any girl that proceeded to walk past me (you guessed it; I don’t know how to river-dance). I’m not proud of myself, okay.
Upon hearing these stories, and how embarrassing I am to be around, I quickly researched St Paddy's Day on the internet. Being a quarter Irish myself, I didn’t want to feel like a drunken reprobate destroying Irish culture.
I was pleased to discover that my drunken adventure through Long Street was spot on, that I had celebrated St Paddy's Day with the heart of a true Irish rascal.
From New Zealand to America, people worldwide do indeed celebrate the day of St Patrick by going out and consuming copious amounts of alcohol. They dress in green, bellow traditional Irish folk songs and river-dance.
It has become a tradition that has resulted in more headaches, hangovers and unplanned pregnancies than any other. People seem to like celebrating Ireland – even if they’re not Irish.
Traditionally, the holiday commemorates St Patrick, the patron saint who brought Christianity to Ireland. It is a day for spiritual renewal, and an offering of prayers for missionaries worldwide. That and the consumption of bountiful barrels of beer, is what it’s all about.
But I wonder what St Patrick would say if he found out that the entire world got drunk in his name? Being an Irishman, he’d probably say, “God invented whiskey to keep the Irish from ruling the world.”
Come March 17th, put on your finest green attire and frolic around The Dubliner in Long Street. It is, after all, in the name of St Patrick. You’ll have a belly full of green beer, and hilarious stories to tell the next day.