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Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Honestly, it's basically an Irish-themed New Year's party. St. Patrick's Day is the last holiday that you can party it up before Memorial Day.

Everyone loves St. Paddy's day, right? It's a day filled with corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, Reubens, Guinness, parades, seas of shamrocks, and shots of Jameson and/or Tullamore Dew.  Americans of Irish descent (or not) use this day to celebrate their heritage. Why? Because when the Irish immigrated here, they wanted a way to honor their Irish roots. The Irish were persecuted in the US in the 19th century, so St. Patrick's Day was a way to celebrate their Irish pride and traditions.

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The holiday is obviously commercialized these days, so the St. Paddy's Day traditions are a bit over-the-top compared to decades past. Not to burst anyone's bubble, but St. Patrick's Day wasn't even a huge deal in Ireland until the 2000s. In fact, for centuries it was just a holy day honoring the patron saint of the country! Now, however, it's celebrated much like how it is in the States, but it's fairly new.

In case you haven't yet figured it out, St. Patrick's Day isn't really an Ireland thing. It started in America. The celebrations we know and love do not stem from the motherland.

Parts of Ireland have now followed suit though, with week-long St. Paddy's celebrations in Dublin, Galway, and other major Irish cities. Wonder if they do it up as big as we do here in the South Jersey and Philadelphia regions. After all, the Philadelphia region (including South Jersey) was voted the best city in which to celebrate the holiday.


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