Happy St Patrick’s Day! Whatever that means to you…. Maybe green rivers in Chicago, trade deals in New York, for some binge drinking in Ireland and for others putting face paint on the excited kids of the local children’s playschool class. It is a very odd mix of activities isn’t it?
I loved St Patricks Day when I was a child, for starters we had a day off school which was always a cause for celebration in my book! Secondly, even thought we were in the middle of Lent we were allowed a free day – we could eat the things we had given up for lent such as Tayto crisps, sweets and ice-cream. Thirdly, we lived near a city which always had an exciting parade and it was fun to go watch it with our family and to meet friends there too.
Drinking alcohol was not a big thing in my family so my childhood memories of the day do not involve seeing people drink to excess and as I grew older it was not something that I associated with the day.
I found it a little boring when my college friends got “rat-arsed” on paddys day, although I was a party goer most other days of the year, I never could see the whole “it’s paddys day, we have to get extremely drunk” thing.
I am looking forward to the parade in one of the towns that I live near. It will be a lovely simple affair with tractors, both new and vintage, hopefully the fire brigade truck, the playschool kids in colourful costumes, brownies and cub scouts looking so proud. How do I know what to expect? Because it has been the same for the years that I have lived here and I really do enjoy it!
As I said, when I grew up we had access to quite sophisticated parades and they were great fun and very colourful and noisy with all sorts of marching bands, big fancy floats and often American bands with cheerleaders.
There is something really lovely for me in the simplicity of the local small town parade, it seems more real, more rooted in the community, not trying to be something that it is not.
Many people are happy to go and watch their local parade and then have a pint or two with their friends and neighbours and I do enjoy that sort of socialising and may well do that very thing today.
However I will leave early so as not to be in town this evening when it becomes messy and also because I want to cook a lovely meal of bacon and cabbage! – Yeah, I know, it’s a little cliché but I do love bacon and cabbage and today is a really good day for it!
What does St Patick’s Day mean to you? Whatever it represents I do hope that you have a lovely day and enjoy some fun with your family, friends and neighbours this week.