Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kiss me, I'm Irish!

St. Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is the annual feast day that celebrates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is generally celebrated on March 17th. The first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was organized by the Irish Society of Boston on March 17th, 1737. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike. Americans celebrate this holiday by wearing green and drinking green beer. The tradition is that if you don’t wear green, you will be pinched.

The longest-running Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in the U.S. are:
Boston, Massachusetts, since 1737
New York City, since 1762 (248th Consecutive Parade in 2009)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 1771
Morristown, New Jersey, since 1780
New Orleans, Louisiana, since 1809
Buffalo, New York, since 1811
Savannah, Georgia, since 1813
Carbondale, Pennsylvania, since 1833
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, since 1843
Chicago, Illinois, since 1843
New Haven, Connecticut, since 1845
Saint Paul, Minnesota, since 1851
San Francisco, California, since 1852
Scranton, Pennsylvania, since 1862
Cleveland, Ohio, since 1867
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, since 1869
Kansas City, Missouri, since 1873

Major League Baseball also gets into the St. Paddy’s Day festivities. Even though spring training is during this time, some teams wear Green hats or uniforms. The first team to start the hat trend was the Cincinnati Reds back in 1978. Then in 1990, my Boston Red Sox followed suit. Green Uniforms came into play in the 80s by the Phillies. Nearly every MLB team now produce some form of St. Patrick’s day merchandise: including hats, jerseys, and t-shirts.

How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year? Since I am sick…I’ll be watching the Red Sox-Twins game and trying to catch the parade from Chicago on TV. No green beer for me this year, which stinks!
An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.