March 17th, note the date!! No it is not my birthday, nonetheless, for many it is a reason to get excited and to go out and celebrate! The Irish all across the globe get out their green attire, engage in public parades and drink a year’s worth of Guinness and Irish ales. Does it ring a bell yet?
That’s right, March 17th is better known as Saint Patrick’s Day, a public holiday celebrated by the Irish communities around the world. Saint Patrick was the foremost patron saint of Ireland and therefore his death date was made an official Christian feast day. It is mostly celebrated in Ireland, large parts of Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, but anyone who is in for a party will use this day as the perfect excuse to have one.
The Netherlands is a big fan of its own national holidays, but does not particularly commemorate Saint Patrick. Therefore, I had never really experienced this celebration until I found myself in Boston, Massachusetts last year. Over twenty percent of the Massachusetts population is Irish and as a result, Boston transformed into a green party scene on March 17th. A fantastic parade including many marching bands, Irish association representatives and the survivors of the Boston Marathon, went right through the southern part of the city. All Bostonians dressed up in t-shirts with Irish related slogans and were enjoying the first rays of sun after a long winter. Everyone was united in their love for Boston and the overflow of Irish lagers.
Unfortunately, you will not find vibes like these in the Netherlands, but that should not stop you from celebrating! Utrecht is home to a number of Irish pubs such as Mick O’Connells or Olearys, so rally your friends and go have a Guinness in the name of Saint Patrick!