But for some, association with the Emerald Isle on March 17 can induce a level of spirit that the true Irish can’t stand. Whether it’s donning stereotypical Leprechaun hats, downing Guinness or dying nearby rivers green, St. Patrick’s Day has become synonymous with public drunkenness and debauchery.
“[It’s] inclusive if it’s a sign of respect; annoying (or at least unfortunate) if its a sign of herd mentality,” Joe Lee, a professor of Irish studies at New York University, told the Washington Post referring to “honorary Irishness” on St. Patrick’s Day. “Good if maturely celebrated; bad if just an excuse for moronic drunkenness for creatures steeped in stereotype.”
But St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t always an excuse to wear green and get drunk. The holiday was initially a minor holiday in Ireland. It was only in the 1970s that the holiday grew in popularity and breadth.
"St. Patrick's Day was basically invented in America by Irish-Americans," classics professor Philip Freeman of Luther College in Iowa told National Geographic.
On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. As Irish patriotism grew among American immigrants, the annual holiday began to grow in popularity with different “Irish Aid” societies holding annual parades. In 1962, as immigrants began to spread throughout the United States, a new annual St Patrick’s Day tradition was born in Chicago. In 1962, city pollution workers dyed the Chicago River green to commemorate the holiday.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day has become an international celebration. Beginning in 1995, the Irish government made March 17 a national holiday in an effort to boost tourism. Today, approximately 1 million people attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin.
For those that are planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 or the weekend before, below are 25 St. Patrick's Day quotes, blessings and traditional sayings to spread the luck of the Irish:
There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were.
In Heaven there is no beer that’s why we drink it here!
May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.
“St. Patrick -- one of the few saints whose feast day presents the opportunity to get determinedly whacked and make a fool of oneself all under the guise of acting Irish.” -- Charles M. Madigan
May the luck of the Irish be with you!
You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.
Irish diplomacy is the ability to tell a man to go to hell so that he looks forward to making the trip.
Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbor. It makes you shoot at your landlord-and it makes you miss him.
May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass to keep from falling off the earth.
May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.
Better good manners than good looks.
Lose an hour in the morning and you’ll be looking for it all day.
May the Good Lord take a liking to you... but not too soon!
May God bless and keep in good health your enemies’ enemies.
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks.
May your heart be as light as a song.
May each day bring you bright, happy hours.
That stay with you all the year long.
May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.
May luck be our companion.
May friends stand by our side.
May history remind us all.
Of Ireland’s faith and pride.
May God bless us with happiness.
May love and faith abide.
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer – and another one!
When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let's all get drunk, and go to heaven!
May your home always be too small to hold your friends.
Here's to me, and here's to you.
And here's to love and laughter.
I'll be true as long as you.
And not one moment after.
When money's tight and hard to get,
and your horse is also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt,
a pint of plain is your only man.