17 Things you didn't know about St Patrick's day

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by singha61, Mar 14, 2011.

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  1. Saint Patrick's Day is the most international of national days, celebrated from Boston to Buenos Aires and from Singapore to Seoul. What those cities also tend to share each March 17 are the mild warm conditions perfect for throwing a street party.

    In Ireland it's different. There's an old saying that March comes in like a lion, and the Irish winter normally lurks in the long grass to give us a good mauling at the first glimpse of a skimpily dressed majorette.

    But does St Patrick's Day have to be on March 17? Couldn't we move it to sometime more kindly?

    That's just what we did 10 years ago in 2001 when foot and mouth brought Ireland to a standstill. March was scratched, and when the Dublin parade belatedly took place on a beautiful late May day it drew the biggest turnout ever of some 1.2 million.

    In theory, Paddy's Day could be moved. After all, the Catholic Church shunts it whenever it interrupts Easter Week. In 1940, for instance, the Church observed it on April 3 and in 2008 on March 14.

    Legend has it that St Patrick died on March 17, 461, but it's really a case of 'pick a number, any number'. It was given a slot on the calendar of saint's days in the 1600s after lobbying by the Waterford-born missionary Luke Wadding.

    In practice, St Patrick's Day can't be moved because it's become such a world fixture that it's no longer ours. We share it with many parts where snow, rain and hail will never be a case for change.

    In some places, we share it in a most literal sense. March 17 is a public holiday on the Caribbean island of Monserrat because it commemorates a failed slave revolt in 1768, which, by coincidence, ties in with the celebrations of the many islanders of Irish stock. In Boston, the feast doubles up with the original public holiday of Evacuation Day marking the withdrawal of British troops during the 1776 revolution.

    Such ambiguity is typical of the legacy of Patrick, a man who might have been born in Wales or Scotland or elsewhere, and whose real name might have been Maewyn Succat.

    That said, from our own bitter experience we must concede that he might indeed have frozen to death under a barrage of hailstones on March 17, 461.

    17 Things you didn't know about St Patrick's day - Lifestyle, Frontpage - Independent.ie
  2. That's nice dear.
  3. **** St Patricks Day, in Belfast anyway.
  4. Gasp.... since when did a Belfast Prod ever pass up a decent excuse for a piss up and a fight with your neighbours?
  5. The man who became St Patrick was born to a Roman political commisar in a civilian settlement at what is now Greenhead on the Roman Wall at Northumberland. He was kidnapped as a boy and taken first to west Cumbria by some annoying outlaws of the time and then to Ireland as a rather upmarket "accessorised" slave. (a sort of "Ward of Court"). A dip in the road called Aspatria in Cumbria claims to have been his home for a time. His spell in west Cumbria prepared him for any challenge! When he eventually came back from Ireland to Northumberland he said ( in Latin) "This lot need to become civilised". He tried hard for a time, lost heart, and went back to Ireland - where again he was only moderately successful.

    Nevertheless we do not think of him as a failure but just as one of a long line of "do-gooders" from the larger island who felt sorry for their West Celt neighbours and did more than just talk about it. Was his input valuable? Only time will tell!

    All that tosh about his being a shepherd is bunkum by the way. He lived quite a good life as a sort of middle class educated "hanger-on" - and watched and learnt - and taught others. He did try the life of a hermit now and again, all such good men did, it impressed the natives and gave an aura of being "different".

    Confirmation of these facts can be found in the Roman Army Museum at Greenhead. Just ask to see his birth certificate and some letters to his father! It is recorded by the way that when he returned to Greenhead as a young man after many years away that his father did not recognise him and refused to see him. This is the suggested reason for his return to Ireland. But would you prefer living in Bangor (Co Down) to a cold wet bog around Haltwhistle?

    (Well its as good a story as all the others, isn't it?)
  6. St Patricks Day, when millions of Eyerish Americans who couldn't even find Eyerland on a map pretend they're more Irish than a native born Paddy.
  7. The only thing anyone needs to remember about St.Patricks day is that it's my birthday.
  8. There's an old tradition on St Pádraig's day that the village eejit will wear a hat designed to look like a giant glass of stout.
  9. Off on one again are we Billy Bigot?
  10. The same eejit that'll be stood outside your local stripped to the waist with a St George flag round his shoulders next time England play football.
  11. St Patrick's Day in Belfast can be a riot (literally). Loads of Tims from the arrse end of nowhere, who, ostensibly "students" at Queens University, like nothing more than to get stuck into traditional Irish booze (WKD, White Lightning, Buckfast, Bacardi Poof Juice), annoy the fcuk out of their neighbours and chuck shi!t at the Peelers.

    These folk are known within NI as "culchies". As well as the above, their favourite pastimes include (1) Diggin houles (2) Building walls (3) Talkin about the 'RA (4) Pretendin to be IN the 'RA (5) A big feed o' spuds n butther (6) A nice cup o' tay.

    However, their more "evolved" Belfast cousins The "Spides" see them coming every year, and relieve them of their student loans very quickly.

    Unionists/Prods should really re-engage with the true spirit of St Patrick, but this will not happen while it remains a festival of Paddywhackery and T.F.B.
  12. skid2

    skid2 LE Book Reviewer

    Stuff that. We will of course be talking our traditional route through St Patricks Day. Upsetting the blow ins and getting a ringside seat for the teatime fight in Robinsons.
  13. Its a big day in the calender for the R Irish and an excuse to get pissed I dont see a problem. Although the students rioting in the holylands that should have been sorted by heavey handed tctics by the PSNI but one can always hope.
  14. There can't be many Oirish left over there, as they're all trying to cram into Cheltenham Race's at the moment.
  15. Spent an uproarious Saint Patrick's day with the Royal Irish Rangers in Belize in the early '80s. Religion didn't come in to it, just a grand Regiment having a bloody good time!