You don’t have to be Irish to have a great time on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, there may be something seriously wrong with you if you don’t enjoy dressing in green and getting annihilated in honor of Ireland’s patron Saint.
Like any Catholic feast day that commemorates any of the saints, St. Patrick’s Day carries it’s own unique traditions. Saint Patrick famously brought Christianity to the Irish heathens and drove away all snakes from the Emerald Isle. For his efforts the Catholic church set March 17th aside to remember Patrick. Unfortunately for the Irish, the date was dead smack in the middle of Lent. To properly celebrate the Saint that saved the tiny island, one must be able to revel at full capacity. Because of this, the Church restrictions of Lent were loosened just a bit and the St. Patty’s Day celebration we know today was born.
One could say that St. Pat’s acts as a sort of indulgence island in the middle of the vast wasteland sea that is the Lenten holiday. When one normally must abstain from alcohol and beef, a green beer or twenty and some Corned Greatness – in honor of that lizard hating Saint – is not only allowed, it’s demanded. The old joke says that the only meat allowed to priests during Lent is nun, on March 17th, Father O’Flannigan can leave the Holy Sisters alone and sit down to that delicious corned beef and kraut beauty called the Reuben.
Whether you’re in Chicago draining the sheleighleigh into the green Chicago River, in Boston enjoying the sweet sounds of the pipes calling your liver to heaven, in Mobile Alabama searching for that crack smoking leprechaun, or even in Dublin where the Guinness flows like water… Happy St. Patty’s Day! And from all of the drunken folks at FirstandMonday, bottoms up and Slainte!