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Can Someone Explain To Me Why Saint Patrick’s Day Is A Holiday?

Updated on March 18, 2010


I’m going to go ahead and admit what I think a lot of people are too afraid to admit, Saint Patrick’s is a stupid holiday. I don’t get it. You can tell me all you want that it’s about celebrating the Irish or something but someone’s going to have to show me something more than what I see every year as the celebration of this holiday. Does green beer and a reason to get drunk out of your mind really celebrate the Irish or is that just Tuesday night here in Vegas for tourists? Can someone explain to me why Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday? – Don’t Get Me Started!

I remember when I was a kid at school kids would say, “You’re not wearing green so I get to pinch you.” Every year I would look around, see nothing in my wardrobe that was green and then proudly go to school without a “wearing o’ the green” defying anyone to pinch me as I looked down my nose at them with a Tim Gunn fashion disapproval stare that would stop them cold. Sure, I think I liked the cookies that were in the shape of shamrocks covered in that chunky green sugar but other than that I had no interest in it. As I got older and people would say, “Where are you going for St. Patrick’s?” I would either make up excuses or a lie about where I was going. Now I’m in my forties and I don’t give a shit who knows just how stupid I think this holiday is and you’re going to have to do a bunch of talking to talk me out of my opinion.

For those of you who think I’m doing this due to the whole thing about gays fighting to get into the famous New York Saint Patrick’s parade but being denied I can assure you that this is not the case. In fact, I think we gays should have sat that dance out but that’s just my opinion. Oh yes, by all means let’s get ourselves into a parade where a bunch of drunken straight guys with their sequined green top hats looking like some sort of strange people you never met in the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz slosh about the streets with their “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts on. Well, wait a minute, I just added a Wizard of Oz reference and drunk straight guys so that makes it somewhat gay, right? Maybe that’s why the gays wanted in. But if it’s just drunken straight guys parading the streets that’s what they invented Mardi Gras for isn’t it?

The thing that gets me about all of these holidays is that people try to convince me it’s about culture. Where’s the culture in green eggs and ham, Sam I O’am? Are we celebrating the end of the potato famine or the fact that thousands were killed in Ireland simply because they couldn’t agree on a religion? What exactly are we supposed to be celebrating here and is getting drunk the only thing we do for this supposed saintly holiday?

Religious groups attack Halloween every year but it seems to me that kids getting dressed up and going around trying to get candy seems like a more benign and happy holiday than the drunk drivers on St. Patrick’s day who will be killing all the wrong people (most drunk drivers survive the crash because their systems are so relaxed from the booze while the innocent people they hit are usually the ones who die). Halloween even makes more sense to me than the whole Jesus has risen again, let’s eat Peeps holiday. I think just like the local and federal governments are reviewing budgets and deciding on cuts that perhaps we need a holiday expert like Hallmark to get involved and get rid of a bunch of these holidays that just don’t make sense. Oh wait, just like government, Hallmark are the ones who came up with most of these holidays so how can they really police themselves? Crap, I just remembered I need to go buy someone something for Sweetest Day – whatever the hell that is and whatever the hell that is supposed to celebrate! Can someone explain to me why Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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