Friday, March 17, 2006

A St Paddy's Day message from the land of St Andy

Happy St Patrick's Day, fools! Y'all know y'all ain't Irish, so why you up in the piece wearin' green and pinchin' each other?

Well, my St Paddy's Day 2006 has been uneventful. Wore not a smidge of green and not pinched once. I am ever so grateful. I hate that tradition and I am willing to fight anyone who tries it on. No one hasn't even mentioned it either, not once. Now I work in a primary school and kids go nuts about holidays. But not a peep from the kids. It is well below the radar.

St Patrick is the patron saint, obviously, of Ireland and each of the countries of the UK have their own patron saint. Here's a list for you and more info:
  • Wales: St David (celebrated the 1st day of March; click the hyperlink to learn more)

  • England: St George (his day: 23rd April).

  • Scotland: none other than St Andrew (same name as the "home of golf"; celebrated here on November 30.) Strangely, St Andrew's Day is celebrated only slightly; small potatoes compared to Burns' Day (see January 2006 entries on Burns' Day).

St Patrick's Day is a real holiday, no doubt. But I have this theory that its popularity in the US is down to the fact that it gives Americans a chance to behave like drunken louts without being looked down upon. It's the only holiday in the US where, I think, people expected you to get pissed. This is the reason why it has little recognition here -- that is life here everyday. They don't need no friggin' excuse to drink. 'What? It's Tuesday? Let's drink!'

I did see some people wearing some very obnoxious Irish flag and Guinness hats. I have a sneaking suspection they were American. Those hats were too ostentatious for the British.

Now that being said, I have a feeling that St Patrick's Day will be making more of an impact over here in the near future. It's the Americanisation of Britain, which Boy goes on (and on... and on) about. His example is Hallow'een. It was a very low-level holiday when he was a child. Not really celebrated, no trick-or-treating. The big holiday was Bonfire Night, which was a week later. To celebrate, a person, as you can guess, lights a fire. Well, nowadays, Bonfire Night has little impact and Hallow'een is quite popular. All the teachers dressed up at our school and they had all these games and candy. I did not dress, cos I find the whole thing a bit ridiculous. A waste of instructional time, I say. (Look at me, I'm hardcore teacher!) That all down to the influence of the US. Could eventually affect the status of St Patrick's Day here in the UK?

It hasn't happened yet, which is fine by me. I'm just lovin' being here on the 17th of March. Betta wear yo' green dudes, or somebody's gonna pinch the hell outta ya!

And who's got their "Kiss me, I'm Irish" button on? It's the modern-day mistletoe!

And if you want to hear me repeat myself, sounding ever so like my sister, here you go with an audioblog:
this is an audio post - click to play


Anonymous Amah said...

I thought I sent a comment but I guess I didn't. Here goes again. My coworker wears orange instead of green because she's a descendent of an "Orangeman". I'll ask her details again. As for me--I always have my trusty green on (wedding ring). Smile! P.S. I love leaving comments now that I know how. Love yah!!

Friday, 17 March 2006 at 23:30:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

I'm glad to get your comments.

The Orange men are Irish that are Protestants, rather than Catholic. They were named after William of Orange, a (Dutch?) Protestant who was brought into the England to overturn the much disliked Catholic queen. When William rolled into Ireland, the minority Protestants showed their support by wearing orange.

There is, still to this day, serious tension between these two groups in Northern Ireland and in some parts of the UK (like western Scotland, where lots of Irish settled). It can be a very inflamatory thing, the whole Orange order/Catholic thing.

I'm not sure if its so kosher of her to wear that, unless she subscribes to sectarianism. And anyway, Orangemen are Irish, no matter what, and the colour of Ireland is green.

Saturday, 18 March 2006 at 00:32:00 GMT  

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