Saint Patrick’s Day is a National holiday in Ireland and celebrated in many places throughout the world where people of Irish descent live. The festival can include celebrations for a period of up to a week.
About Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick was not Irish as many might mistakenly believe, nor was he the first Christian Missionary to Ireland, he was however the best remembered. He was born the son of a comparatively low ranking Roman official. He was at the age of 16 captured by Irish raiders. He was transported to Ireland and eventually escaped to return home. He returned to Ireland as a Bishop and hence became famous for bringing Christianity to Ireland. Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated on March 17 the anniversary of Saint Patrick’s death. Saint Patrick is known as the Patron Saint of Ireland.
Saint Patrick And The Wearing Of The Green
Although it is unverifiable, Saint Patrick was believed to have taught the concept of the holy trinity to Irish by using a shamrock, which has three leaves. The wearing of the green usually means wearing a shamrock on one’s clothing. Whether or not St. Patrick used a shamrock to teach Christianity doesn’t matter, the wearing of shamrocks and green has become an inseparable part of the St. Patrick’s day celebration.
Celebrations The World Over
Saint Patrick’s day is a bank holiday in Ireland. Parades, public entertainments and plenty of Guinness flow during this festival. Over a million visitors come to Ireland for the Saint Patrick’s Festival where entertainment and the culture of Ireland are showcased. Saint Patrick is an important religious and cultural figure for the Irish. The Saint Patrick’s festival has also become an important economic factor for Ireland because of the increased numbers of visitors and revenue generated.
The term luck of the Irish has been the subject of many a scholarly argument. Irish are not an inherently lucky people. They have endured invasions, privations, starvation and more. Even the Irish songs tend toward tragedy. The debate rages over where this term came from and the origin appears to be somewhere during the early history of Irish immigrants in America.
Luck of The Irish As Irony
It has been argued that the term was ironic. When used toward early Irish immigrants in America. This early period was one where Irish were believed to be lazy and unable to succeed so when one did, it was attributed to the luck of the Irish. While discrimination was rampant during that time, there are other explanations for the origin of the term.
Luck of the Irish During The Gold Rush
The gold and silver rush brought a number of Irish and Irish American fortunes. The Comstock Silver lode was hit by a group of Irish miners who later became known as the Silver Kings. Although this explanation holds the ring of possible truth, the term still wasn’t without a derisive undertone.
An Unlikely Myth About Leprechauns and the Luck of the Irish
One other explanation put forth concerning the origins of the Luck of the Irish is that of supposedly finding a leprechaun’s stash was a lucky event that only happened in Ireland. The leprechaun luck story may not be widely accepted by scholars but it makes a colorful story.
On the whole, throughout history the luck of the Irish has not been exceptionally good. Irish history has been one of struggle and turmoil, and the fact that the nation still stands finally independent with people of such strong character can be attributed to their resilience and determination more than to luck.
Mardi Gras is not celebrated uniformly throughout the US however, the city of New Orleans has a culture steeped in French tradition and the Mardi Gras celebration is one of the largest in the US. New Orleans and in fact the whole of the state of Louisiana hosts huge parades, masked balls, and the largest street parties anywhere in America. The Carnival season begins each year on January 6 and the Mardi Gras is the final day before Lent.
Mardi Gras Parades
The New Orleans street parades are probably the best known and most publicized. These parades can begin at six am and continue far into the night. Riders on the floats are by law required to wear a mask during carnival season and on Mardi Gras night everyone can mask up. Trinkets are often thrown to the crowd and Mardi Gras beads and doubloons are sought after souvenirs.
Although Mardi Gras is often publicized as a wild and boisterous event, children attend these parades as well. They come home loaded with loot, stuffed animals, and beads and of course tired out. The French Quarter is perhaps the only place best avoided during Mardi Gras for people with children.
Mardi Gras In The French Quarter
The French Quarter is one of the must see sites for any visitor to New Orleans at any time of year. No parades pass through the French Quarter during Mardi Gras but the celebration is evident just the same and the beads and masks abound. Even without the holiday, the area has plenty to entertain and entrance the adults. The stunning architecture in the French Quarter is largely untouched even after the ravages of Hurricane Katrina and street corner mimes and jugglers are just part of the charm during the holiday season of Mardi Gras.