What’s Bedford Thinking? St. Patrick’s Day

March 10, 2023

We’re a week away from St. Patrick’s Day. It is one of those days when everybody pretends they’re Irish.  Green beer, parades, green rivers, bad accents, local news starting their broadcast with “top of the morning to you,” etc.  all capture the modern commercialized version of St. Patrick’s Day.  

Do you know there actually was a real St. Patrick? The March 17 celebration started in 1631 when the Church established a Feast Day honoring St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland who died around the fifth century. 

The idea of a St. Patrick’s Day “party” may draw its roots from the fact that March 17 falls within Lent. It provided Christians a day off from their Lenten pledges of abstinence. By the 18th century things were getting out of hand. In the 1720s, the church tried to steer the holiday back to a religious event and assigned the shamrock as St. Patrick’s botanical symbol, as it was the custom for saints to be associated with something botanical.

The Irish Rebellion in 1798 led to the color green becoming officially associated with the day. The British were wearing red (redcoats) at the time, so the Irish wore green to distinguish themselves. The song “The Wearing of the Green” became popular during the rebellion, cementing the color’s relevance in Irish history.

St. Patrick’s Day Facts for 2023:

  • 61 percent of Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
  • 80 percent of those celebrating plan on wearing green
  • 4.2 drinks on average are consumed by those celebrating St Patrick’s Day
  • 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on the day
  • 174 percent more beer is purchased than on a normal day 
  • St. Patrick’s Day is the third most popular drinking holiday behind New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras.
  • 23.2 percent of Bedford residents consider themselves to be Irish with Italian being second at 13.9 percent

So What’s Bedford Thinking?  Will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?  Choose all that apply

Will you be celebrating St. Patrick's Day? (Choose all that apply)

  • Not Celebrating (58%, 101 Votes)
  • Celebrating another way (34%, 59 Votes)
  • Going to a party (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Going to a bar (4%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 174

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