St. Patrick’s day isn’t an American holiday, but in celebrating it, some of us get to express what it means to be American. In the first half of the 1800s, Irish immigrants comprised one third of all newcomers to America, and by 1860, 3.5MM Irish people had settled in the United States. Since that era, Irish-American culture has been an important thread in our society and on March 17th it is our tradition to celebrate this by wearing green and getting sauced.
If you’re hosting a Saint Patrick’s day celebration or just observing the holiday, don’t forget the basics:
St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the life of the patron saint of Ireland, which is why we wear green clothes and some of us drink green beer. In the spirit of green, the Shamrock is a three-leaf clover which has come to symbolize among other things the the Holy Trinity, the Boston Celtics and Ireland itself. The Celtic Harp is a symbol of the Irish nation and has emblazoned their coinage from the time of Henry VIII all the way down to the modern day Euro. Beer is another classic Irish staple. Guinness is an Irish stout that originated in 18th Century Dublin. Since then, it’s grown to vast popularity in part due to its creative advertising campaigns. The advertising posters of John Gilroy in 1930’s and 40’s helped establish an aesthetic that is still attached to the brand — this playful “Irish Terrier” invitation pays homage to Girloy’s style.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!