People like to say that on St. Patrick’s day everybody’s Irish. That’s not entirely true, but we’ll overlook it for the moment. I am not one to argue against details against a holiday that combines beer, corned beef, questionable fashion choices and even more questionable decision-making. In fact I am so far on the opposite side of arguing against St. Patrick’s day that I might go so far as to call myself an advocate for it. Yet, even as a self professed advocate (and retired employee of the Irish Pub) for the great day, I found myself ignorant as to how St. Patrick’s day came to inhabit its unique place among the canon of American national holidays. Queue the music, it was time for another uniquely American pastime: investigative journalism.
I am not one to argue against details against a holiday that combines beer, corned beef, questionable fashion choices and even more questionable decision-making.
St. Patrick’s day has been celebrated officially since the early seventeenth century and commemorates Saint Patrick (naturally) and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain and kidnapped at the age of sixteen by Irish Raiders and held for a period of time somewhere on the west coast of Ireland until, as the story goes, he was visited by God in a dream and told to escape captivity and make for the coast to return to Britain. His escape was successful and upon his return to Britain he immediately joined the church to begin studying for the priesthood.
Years later Patrick returned to Ireland as a bishop to preach the gospel and all evidence suggests he had a knack for it. Saint Patrick is said to have used the image of a shamrock and its three leaves to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish. Today the shamrock is perhaps the most ubiquitous symbol of Irish culture throughout the western world. If you’re lucky you might see one crafted into the head of a Guinness on the big day, no promises though.
…great food and music all day as well as the “world’s shortest St. Patrick’s parade.” See y’all at the pub, don’t forget to wear your green.
Although St. Patrick’s day is an official holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church, the celebration of all things Irish that turns the world green on March 17th is very much a secular one. Interestingly this has not been an entirely natural evolution as the government of the Republic of Ireland began a campaign in the 1990s to spread St. Patrick’s day to advertise and inform the world about Irish culture. Needless to say the campaign is a success as raucous celebrations are now held in essentially every place on earth reached by the Irish diaspora. History class dismissed.
Now, when the big day arrives you might be wondering where one might be able to throw on a green hat and get down in our little burg? If only there were a place for everyone to go, have a pint or four and hear authentic Irish music. Some sort of a…house…with Irish stout and stew and friendly people where everybody’s welcome and they don’t serve any darn green beer. We could call it a public house! No, that’s too long. We’ll call it a pub.
If this place existed in Lewisburg at 109 East Washington Street I bet they would be open at 1pm on St. Patrick’s Day and have great food and music all day as well as the “world’s shortest St. Patrick’s parade.” See y’all at the pub, don’t forget to wear your green.
St Patrick’s Day, Irish Pub:
Raffle to Win Bottle of Middleton, Irish Food, Irish Music, World’s Shortest Parade, & Giveaway!!! 304-645-7386
– Julian Levine, LBSPY #28 (March 11-25th)