St. Paddy’s Day, so nicknamed by the Irish, is one of Ireland’s most-celebrated events (although regardless of what time of year or day you choose to visit Ireland, you’ll likely find some sort of celebration going on!)
What started as a one-day holiday on March 17 has since grown to a multi-day celebration enjoyed by millions across the globe every year. However, St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t always about getting drunk and painting yourself green from head-to-toe. Believe it or not, St. Patrick’s Day was once considered a “dry” holiday up to the 20th century, since it memorialized the death of Ireland’s foremost saint.
In fact, laws restricted the nation’s pubs from operating business on this day until 1970 where St. Patrick’s Day was reclassified as a national holiday to allow the revelers to drink. In 2017, it was estimate d that over 13 million pints of Guinness were consumed on this day, which is over 7 percent of the annual consumption of Guinness worldwide and nearly three times as much as the approximate daily consumption.
Around the world
Over the centuries, the Irish bloodline has spread across the world and no longer is St. Paddy’s Day restricted to Ireland. New York and Chicago host a significant number of Irish-Americans and they are avid fans of the Irish saint, celebrating with as much enthusiasm as any true-blooded Irishman.
New York has hosted a St. Patrick’s Day Parade annually since 1762, with now over 250,000 marchers taking to Fifth Avenue to celebrate. And since 1962, Chicago has been dumping over 40 tons of green dye into the Chicago River to turn it a suitably festive shade.
Of course, Irish-Caymanians and honorary resident Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Fidel Murphy’s, local Irish pub, will pulling out all the stops in March. Their celebrations kick off a little earlier – on March 16, to be precise – with a fundraiser involving the Cayman Islands Rugby Club. Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun at Fidel’s with a karaoke night where there will be T-shirts, hats and a pint of Guinness for $10.
On the Saturday morning, March 17, Irishmen across the world will be glued to the television to watch the Ireland vs. England rugby game as a part of the Six Nations Rugby Tournament. Fidel’s will be serving breakfast from 8 a.m. for those wanting to catch the game in a traditional pub setting. There will be live music from local bands from noon onwards, with a special feature from three Irish singers. And, of course, there will be traditional dishes such as cabbage and bacon for those who really want to immerse themselves in the culture.
Paint yourself green and grab a Guinness for a great time this St. Patrick’s Day.