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  • Writer's pictureTravelOctopus

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We all know that March 17th means Guinness, Green beer and getting pinched if you don't break out that kelly green tshirt, but why do we do this ( I mean, other than it being fun!)?

The quick version is Patrick brought Christianity to #Ireland, invented the #Shamrock and died on March 17th ten centuries ago. When he was sanctified, the day was celebrated annually in memoriam. Flash forward - the growing communities of Irish immigrants continued the tradition as a way of owning something unique to their homeland, and sang, danced and marched through cities like #New York and #Boston to show their solidarity and pride in their culture (mostly as a ppppppppppppppth to Italians - who get to answer back in September with the Feast of San Genaro and we all get to benefit from the great Beer vs. Meatball food fued).

As neighborhoods eventually integrated and diversity invited the Non-Irish, Partially-Irish, or Irish-by-Marriage along we now find ourselves with a major International Party that is far less religious memorial and far more big happy celebration of others and their otherness. And the color #green. And #beer.

Here is the US there are 3 epic city-sized St. Patty Parties for anyone looking to connect with their Irish side or just get their party on. Boston, with one of the highest Irish populations in the nation (and sharing a home state with that infamous Irish clad The Kennedys) opens its bars at - wait for it - 5am on the morning of the 17th. Businesses that even try to stay open have been known to actually shut down at lunch knowing that no one is coming back, and since there is no law on the books preventing public drunkeness you can easily pub crawl from one end of Haymarket to the other. Start at The Bell in Hand where the founding fathers plotted revolution over Ale, and end at literal Cheers.

The #bigapple meanwhile lays claim to a parade that "predates the Declaration of Independence" and has happened for 260 consecutive years - even during Covid - according to the Irish Central and of course an actual St. Patricks Cathedral. Once the pipers are done marching there are a THOUSAND (ok I haven't counted but it feels like the right number) Irish pubs in New York City. My personal favorite is The Perfect Pint in midtown. Not the biggest or flashiest, but this pub is cozy, the food is good and the pints are literally perfect.

And you can't forget #Chicago. They die their river green ! A whole River! Green! And they've been doing it since 1962 (we have environmentalists to thank for this ironically).

Of course, there's always the Old Country itself. Ireland deserves its own entire discussion and we have a ton of trip suggestions for #dublin, #belfast #Galway and beyond that would make a fantastic trip to take if you're inspired to learn more about Irish Heritage after celebrating with them.

And if this page is the furthest you travel today than #Sliante !!


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