Stephen Fahey: Saint Patrick’s Day

For the last year, up and down the planet Earth, parade floats, costumes and the obligatory kegs of beer, wine, ale, port, whiskey, more beer and the Black Milk of the Gods have been prepared with love and anticipation. The streets of every city have been calling for the green soles of all mankind to tread them with joy in their hearts. All those towns and villages that have never seen a Celt, all the cities that haven’t even one Irish bar, all the distant mountains and rivers that remain, as yet, untouched by the hand of Patrick, and every planet in the murky faraway of space and time, all of them are Ireland this weekend.

Every English, Syrian, Jamaican, Japanese, Ugandan, Martian and Peruvian person and every being in between are brothers and sisters in more than figurative terms on this special occasion. Politics, religion, economics and nationality are all set down on the floor and have the green, white and orange flag of Eire draped over them for 24 hours so that we may all embrace each other with smiles on our faces and community in our hearts.

It is a free day of love that knows no borders or colours and while it started hundreds of years ago, the day of Patrick is not an Irish day anymore. It is a global day. It belongs to every one of every faith in every country. It is a day to come together and to celebrate life, far more than to celebrate little old Ireland or her patron saint. It’s for celebrating everyone, for celebrating each other, and ourselves. It doesn’t matter in the slightest if you have an Irish passport or Irish lineage, or even if you’ve never heard of this ‚Ireland’ thing and have no clue what the hell I’m talking about here.

It is a day great personal pride for me, not because (technically speaking) I’m ‚Irish’, but because it is a day of international unity. We all see the wars, and the oppression and murder and social and personal anxiety and negativity that invade everyone’s life every minute of every day. So I especially revel in having a global day (unlike December 25th) which isn’t about religion or material goods, but about fun and celebration and (most importantly) is of no political/religious significance. If Ireland gave nothing else to world, Saint Patrick’s Day would be enough.

Also, regardless of its origins Saint Patrick’s Day is now a worldwide opportunity/excuse/reason to share positivity and goodhearted community spirit. If you don’t have a St. Patrick’s Day event in your town or in your country you are free to celebrate along with the rest of the world, even if it has to be in the privacy of your own home. If there’s an Irish Bar or Irish Pub near you make sure and get there. The atmosphere is sure to be marvellous. If you can, wear green, but if you can’t it really doesn’t matter as long as you spend time having fun with other people!

Stephen Fahey

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