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St. Patrick’s Day is almost here again, and it’s time to get out your green and hoist a Guinness or Irish whiskey at the local pub in celebration. Soon folks everywhere will participate in an annual worldwide festival paying tribute to Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and more. St. Patrick’s Day is a fun-filled holiday for everyone, whether they’re Irish or not. But how did it become the huge day of revelry that it is today?
Saint Patrick’s Day Origins
Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious event held on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), who was the foremost patron saint of Ireland. A common myth about St. Patrick is that he drove all of the snakes out of Ireland. And while it’s true there are no snakes in Ireland today, the fact is that there actually never were. The freezing ocean waters that surround Ireland made it too cold for snakes to migrate there. According to historians, the story of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland is most likely a metaphor for ridding the country of its former pagan ways.
The color green came to be strongly associated with the holiday for it’s many connections to Ireland. Ireland is nicknamed the “Emerald Isle,” and the color green is featured in its national flag. Green also represents springtime and the color of newly blooming shamrocks, including the rare, luck-bestowing four-leafed clover variety!
Original revelers believed that wearing green made a person invisible to leprechauns, who would pinch anyone they can find not wearing the color. So began the tradition of pinching those who don’t participate in “the wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day.
Saint Patrick’s Day in America
America is largely responsible for turning St. Patrick’s Day into the giant party we know and love today. The first St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations took place as early as 1737 in Boston, and continued to grow as more and more Irish immigrants arrived in the U.S., especially during the Great Irish Potato famine of 1845. Today, over 34 million Americans claim Irish ancestry, or more than seven times the entire population of Ireland.
Throughout Southern California, the holiday will be in full swing at bars and restaurants like the historic Irish pub Tom Bergin’s in Los Angeles, and Jameson’s Irish Pub in Hollywood. In addition to Irish libations, traditional Irish fare including bangers and mash and corned beef and cabbage will be served. And you can bet that businesses everywhere will be decorated to the hilt to attract customers, as over one third of the local populace will go out to celebrate.
Decorating for the Holiday
If you’d like for your company to take advantage of increased consumer spending during the fun and festivities, Mobile Illumination is here to help. Our creative lighting and décor designs and installations for special events over the years have included St. Patrick’s Day and many others. We can trim your building, trees and more in dazzling green and white string lights, and/or bathe it in a vibrant green LED wall wash. There are even shamrock string lights to illuminate and brighten all of your St. Patrick’s Day décor.
For help lighting and decorating your business for St. Patrick’s Day or other events from weddings to birthdays to anniversaries and more, look to Mobile Illumination. Give us a call today to find out more. And may the luck o’ the Irish always be with ye!