Today, millions of people (both Irish and non-Irish) will be wearing green, drinking Guinness and celebrating St Patrick’s Day.
The annual Irish celebration is now a global event – even the Eiffel Tower is lighting up green tonight – but did you know that it originated in the USA?
In 17th century Ireland, March 17 was a religious feast day, used to mark the death of St Patrick, who is credited with spreading Christianity in the green isle. People would usually go to mass, not to pubs.
Meanwhile, in the USA, Irish immigrants began their own St. Patrick traditions. The first New York St Patrick’s Day parade, or walk, was in 1766, started by Irish Catholic members of the British army.
It was only in the 1960s that Dublin started to take note of the Americans – and St Patrick’s Day evolved into the celebration that it is today.
Souvenir Press publishes a number of Irish-themed titles, perfect for getting to grips with Irish culture.
A haunting collection of stories from some of Ireland’s most famous writers, from Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney to Roddy Doyle and Flann O’Brien. Vivid, evocative and often deeply moving, this is a collection to reawaken nostalgia and provide hours of unadulterated pleasure.
Whether their memories are of rural villages or crowded city streets, of running through the fields or enduring the discipline of spartan convent schools, some of the greatest names in twentieth-century Irish writing combine to create an irresistible book.
From James Joyce, Flann O’Brien and Brendan Behan to Roddy Doyle and Patrick McCabe, all have written about drinking and its effects, the stuff of life and sometimes the troubling consequences. In Great Irish Drinking Stories, Irish revelry is included, wakes and weddings, city bars and country pubs, the craic and the ceilidh in a round of stories that celebrate drink and drinking.
For those of you who love Dublin for the pubs and the craic, comes a literary companion. – ‘Liverpool Echo’,
Happy St Patrick’s Day!