It is of no great surprise that today we are featuring St Patrick’s Day on Bing, and why wouldn’t we? What other day of the year is synonymous with throwing parties, joining parades and enjoying a few pints of an unnamed but distinctively Irish beverage. But despite this obvious opportunity for a grand old knees up (as so delightfully demonstrated by the lovely Russian legs on the Bing homepage), what else do you actually know about what today means around the world?
For instance, did you know that despite St Patrick’s Day being a distinctively Irish event, it is a public holiday in two other countries around the world? The first is the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (so not even the whole country gets the day off), and the second is the tiny island of Montserrat, also known as the ‘Emerald Island of the Caribbean’ because of the large number of Irish immigrants to the island.
If you really want to get into the spirit of the occasion, then you could do worse than wear the green of a shamrock on your collar but, as any self respecting St Patrick aficionado would know, the Saint is more commonly associated with the colour blue, but don’t tell the residents of Chicago this as they take great pleasure in dying the Chicago River a brilliant shade of green today. Unsurprisingly, the USA have been celebrating St Patrick’s day with aplomb for a long time, but little is it known that the residents of Boston were the first to hold a parade on this day back in 1737, a full 194 years before Dublin began the procession.
And finally let us remember that this is the feast day of a saint, and one that falls in the middle of Lent no less, so should we not be acting a little more civilised and steering clear of anything that is bound to leave you nursing your head in the morning? Well today has been considered ‘a day off’ since the Middle Ages, so I’m sure one or two won’t hurt, but let’s not go overboard as for most of the 20th century, pubs in Ireland were closed on the 17th March after drinking became a little too raucous for some people’s liking.
Enjoy Lá Fhéile Pádraig everyone! – Al
You can follow me at twitter.com/AlBingUKEditor