It goes without saying that we are all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Most of us wear green in honor of the day…..eat corned beef and cabbage and perhaps visit an Irish bar to raise a toast with green beer!
Exactly who was St. Patrick? Well believe it or not he was not Irish…he was Welch! He was taken as a slave to Ireland by British pirates and kept there for 6 years before escaping back home. He became a Christian missionary and Bishop. As time went on he was revered as the Patron Saint of Ireland. The humble shamrock was originally a teaching tool for St. Patrick and he is said to have used the three-leaved plant to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to the pagan Irish.
The first St Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York in the 1760’s. I personally have been in New York, Boston and Cleveland for St Patrick’s Day Parades and hands down New York is the one not to be missed! You will see many people wearing green in honor of the day but guess what? For many years, blue was the color most often associated with St. Patrick. Green was considered unlucky. St. Patrick’s blue was considered symbolic of Ireland for many centuries and the Irish Presidential Standard is still blue. (I think I will wear blue today….just for luck)! And speaking of unlucky, every year, the Irish leader hands a crystal bowl full of shamrock to the US President. The shamrock, grown in Kerry, is immediately destroyed by the Secret Service after the exchange. (They can’t risk ANY bad luck)!
Let’s talk beer……Guinness sales soar on St. Patrick’s Day. Recent figures show that 5.5 million pints of the black stuff are downed around the world every day. On St. Patrick’s Day that figure is doubled. Got you thinking of a place to celebrate today? My favorite is Dunleavy’s Pub on Sullivan’s Island, (you can purchase a cool t-shirt there too)! Other Irish watering spots are Tommy Condon’s on Church St and Mac’s Place on East Bay St., both downtown Charleston, My Father’s Moustache on Ben Sawyer Blvd in Mt Pleasant and James Gate on W. Ashley Ave on Folly Beach are also great spots!