Green madness has already hit the streets of New York as the city gears up for its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Considering the stereotypical association with Ireland’s national Catholic holiday and being completely off your head drunk we asked New Yorkers if they would consider a sober St. Patrick’s Day.
Their answers were a little worrying. They said that’s “like a contradiction in terms. How is that even possible.”
A couple of the respondents felt it was utterly impossible to separate the Irish national Catholic festival day, which is meant to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, from booze.
They even went as far as saying that St. Patrick’s Day is utterly synonymous with alcohol.
One woman said, “The point of the day, to see how much you can drink. Thanksgiving is how much you can eat, St. Patrick’s Day, how much can you drink.”
Another man compared an alcohol free St. Paddy’s Day to “a Christmas with no presents, or Easter without chocolate, like a Tooth Fairy that leaves nothing under your pillow.”
Even an Irish tourist in Times Square said, “That would be against the religion of the Irish. You have to have a few drinks. The shamrock has to have a good drowning.”
Although these answers may not be particularly surprising, it seems that the message of St. Patrick’s Day is not being entirely lost. One local illustration of this was last week when the Lepre-Con pub crawl, the replacement from the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day parade, took place. This fabricated boozy culture of St. Patrick’s Day seems to be taking the feast day away from its community roots.
Other Irish groups in New York are working on saving St. Patrick’s Day from this alcohol fuelled image. In fact the Sober St. Patrick’s Day event, featured in this week’s Irish Voice newspaper, is now in its second year and interest is continuing to grow.
Some of those New Yorkers we stopped realized the meaning behind this week’s question. One man replied, “I don’t know enough about St. Patrick’s Day to give an answer but I know what it has become which probably means that it has nothing to do with what it actually stands for.”
Another added, “The idea of St. Patrick’s Day has kind of slipped away from a lot of Americans.”
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