Let’s start with more known and relatively simpler fact – total population of Ireland is roughly 5 million (there are 7 cities in India with population more than that!) but there are 70-80 million Irish people on the planet who call this place home. Put it this way – if we consider that as ‘population’, Ireland would be in top 20 most populated countries. Considering that, choosing the first in the series was more difficult, also because it is a privileged position in the series. It had to be something that defines Ireland as a country and also globally as community (No. Not that!).
After thinking a lot – I shortlisted these three – Guinness, Shamrock and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. I decided to start with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations because somehow, I find it closer and more relevant to Irish community present around the globe. Other two are also almost as relevant and I will go in detail in later dedicated posts.
Covering everything about history, heritage and background of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations is way out of scope of this post. So, in short –
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish all around the globe on 17th March every year which is traditional death date of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. It is, in fact, celebrated in more countries than any other national festival of its kind. Traditionally, Lenten restriction on food and drinks are lifted on this day. Celebrations mainly include interesting and elaborate parades, church services, lots of alcohol (of course! Its an Irish festival) and everything, from people’s clothes to building decorations, turning green.