St Patrick’s Day & Everyone Celebrates. So find your own saint

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The Irish know a thing or two about celebrating. In the 1980’s I remember going to a do in Jury’s in Dublin where they told the funniest Irish jokes until the restaurant closed down in the early hours of the following day. The company was good, the revelry was great and that is how the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s Day (a Welshman by the way. A memorial stone to him lies in the village of Banwen near Neath where he may have been born.)
But it seems that everywhere in the world has a parade or a series of events. There are all day Irish days with green beer and Guiness in Louisiana in the USA (which I never thought had many Irish settlers), Chicago ( where there are a lot) dyes the river green and the events in Ireland seem to last for weeks. Google and AOL have placed shamrocks on the websites. You feed the word “saint” into Google today and the first three sponsored links mention St Patrick.
Most of the processions were last Sunday but Irish events are still going on to this weekend in London and Manchester and elsewhere. London has its own part of the official website, www.london.gov.uk/stpatricksday and Leeds had one as well, www.leedsgoingirish.com which covered the events of last weekend.
From a tourism point of view, the Irish lead the rest of us. What do we do for St George and St Andrew? St David’s day is getting a wider coverage.
Here is a whole new angle for tourism. Get a local saint a bit like mediaeval times when abbeys using to have the supposed bones of saints and that attracted pilgrims. St Ninian could have a celebration in Whithorn in Dunmfries & Galloway (a glorious part of Scotland if you haven’t been there). Canterbury could celebrate St Thomas a Becket on the day of his murder on December 29th and give tourists something between the Christmas and New Year’s festivities to come out to. After all a lot of people have this period off and it would make a change from going to the shops.
Have a saint, have a celebration and in a hundred years time someone might get it as effective as the Irish have done with St Patrick.

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