The real Paddy’s day

Opinion

There’s the saying “Everyone’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day.” From Dublin to Dubai and Moscow to Mumbai, countless fun-seekers don green top hats, eat potatoes and cabbage while guzzling down hearty pints of Guinness — all in the celebration of Ireland.

But in truth all the talk of shamrocks, sheep and leprechauns — not to mention drink-
fueled donnybrooks — makes folks back in Ireland cringe just a little; the country’s national day sounds like a gaudy global event, rather than an authentic local festival.

So, in an effort to get ‘Paddy’s Day’ back to its roots on home turf, here’s a glimpse at how Ireland celebrates the much-loved holiday:

Saint Patrick:?Many forget that March 17 is a Catholic holiday celebrating the mythic figure who brought Christianity to the island.

The real St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish; he was born in Britain. At age 16, he was kidnapped and sent to Ireland where he endured years of hardship tending sheep. But one day, as folklore says, a voice told him to become a priest and preach Christianity to the people. Today, it is customary for Irish people to attend mass on the 17th and thank the Lord for all Patrick did.

Parades: Every town across the country hosts their very own street parade — and the evening news on Irish national TV does a round-up of all of them. Many of them are just an excuse for charities to proudly march down Main Street, but the ones in the big cities do show off colorful artistic floats and marching bands. Most young Irish twentysomethings would never dare be seen wearing a bright green leprechaun hat and waving a miniature Irish flag at a parade — it’s more the reserve for kids, their parents and tourists.

Drink: The “real” Irish would of course enjoy a tipple on St. Patrick’s Day — after all, it’s not a working day! Friends generally meet up and go on a daylong “session” (i.e. binge drinking), with anything Irish, be it Guinness beer or Jameson whiskey.

Naturally, there are more Gardai (Ireland’s police force) out on the street than any other day, to quell any drunken buffoonery. But the real truth is that they are out and about, rounding up groups of naive 12- and 13-year-olds with a whiff of alcohol on them.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Please send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…