St. Patrick’s Day is here and if you are anything like us you are going to want to enjoy that festive spirit with your pets. So, while you are getting prepared to celebrate with your human or furry friends, here is a little bit of background on the holiday.
The first thing that probably comes to mind in regards to the holiday is wearing green. Wearing green might seem like kind of an obvious nod to those who live or descend from the Emerald Isle, but it has more to do with “the wearing of the green” which is in direct reference to the shamrock. The reason for the shamrock’s importance is St. Patrick, the namesake of the holiday and according to legend, the bringer of Christianity to the island, used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity to the Irish pagans. Over the years the wearing of the green evolved from specifically shamrocks to as much green as possible. The evolution of green’s ubiquity isn’t exactly known, it could be in part thanks to the legend that a leprechaun (but more likely an overly zealous friend or co-worker) will pinch you if you don’t participate. To help your pet get into the spirit and avoid being pinched by a Leprechaun (or you), run down to your local pet store and pick up a little shamrock top hat or green bandana. Be sure to snap a photo as proof because your pet may become warm under too much clothing or elastic bands and may not want to play along as long as you hoped.
Now that your outfit is sorted let’s get to the second most obvious thing that comes to mind when St. Patrick’s day is brought up; green beer, or drinking a lot in general. Green beer is a simple extension of the previously mentioned green ubiquity in the modern day celebration. In line with the modern day celebration of St. Patrick’s day, in an effort to celebrate the Irish people, drinking has become very prominent. In reality, as of 2014, Ireland is not in the top ten in either the most alcohol consumed per capita or by volume, so while throwing back a couple of pints of Guinness to honor and celebrate the Irish, let’s try and make sure we steer clear of stereotype territory. In fact you couldn’t get a drink in Ireland on St. Patrick’s day until the 1970’s. In 1903 when it first became an official holiday in Ireland it was included in what is known as Holy Week and was therefore observed as a solemn and holy obligation where pubs were officially closed rather than a celebration of their culture via pints of their favorite ale. But because things change this is no longer the case and most of Ireland celebrates the day in a similar fashion as Americans do, though the drinking is generally preceded by large feast. So, if you and your pet decide to throw one back in honor of the Emerald Isle please make sure your pet’s drink is non-alcoholic, but it can be green, as most food dyes fit for humans are also fine for animal consumption.
Please have a safe and happy holiday. Remember, most of us probably have work tomorrow. Just in case, you might want to save a local taxi service’s number in your phone, or be sure to have Uber or Lyft, already set up.
For some further reading and some of the sources I used check out the links below: