This year Saint Patrick’s Day lands on a Sunday, but don’t worry, this won’t stop people from celebrating the third largest drinking day of the year (Mardi Gras and New Years Eve being the top two)! It is estimated that 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed, beer sales will be up 152.5%, and the average amount of drinks a person will consume on this day is 4.2, but for some reason that seems low to me. Wonder if this statistic is figuring in pre-partying?
Since this seems like a holiday so many people love to celebrate, let’s find out a little bit about this “Saint Patrick,” the holiday itself, and check out some appropriate memes.
Let’s start with the man himself. Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. It is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. Supposedly, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland where he spent six years working as a shepherd. During this time he “found God” and God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.
According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. He then spent many years evangelising in the northern half of Ireland and converted “thousands”. Patrick’s efforts against the druids were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove “snakes” out of Ireland (Ireland never had any snakes). Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.
On St Patrick’s Day, we of course know it is customary to wear shamrocks, green clothing or green accessories, and drink green beer. But originally when this day was celebrated, the Christians would go to church and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day! Perhaps because of this, drinking alcohol – particularly Irish whiskey, beer, or cider – has become an integral part of the celebrations.
Another tradition of Saint Patrick’s Day is “drowning the shamrock” or “wetting the shamrock,” especially in Ireland. At the end of the celebrations, a shamrock is put into the bottom of a cup, which is then filled with whiskey, beer, or cider. It is then drunk as a toast to Saint Patrick, Ireland, or those present. The shamrock would either be swallowed with the drink or taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck.
St Patrick’s parades are now held in many locations across the world. More recently in 1992, Japan had their first Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Tokyo! Even Astronauts on board the International Space Station have celebrated the festival in different ways IN SPACE! Irish-American Catherine Coleman played a hundred-year-old flute. And Chris Hadfield took photographs of Ireland from earth orbit, and a picture of himself wearing green clothing in the space station, and posted them online. He also posted online a recording of himself singing “Danny Boy” in space.
May your luck be great on this Saint Patrick’s Day! Hopefully luckier than finding a four leaf clover, which is 1 in 10,000. So now it’s your turn to spread the cheer! Share with us your favorite related memes and photos in the comments. And most importantly of all be safe. The past few years LA Metro station has offered free rides. Keep a look out and use your best judgment. So here are some celebratory memes! CHEERS!