Do you ever feel like you are forgetting something? Someone’s birthday, an appointment, or where you last put your glasses? How about a whole holiday?
Joe Adams, a resident of Lebanon Illinois, answered a few questions about the recent holiday St. Patrick’s Day. When asked when he thought St. Patrick’s Day was, he replied, “We already had St. Patrick’s Day?” Adams also commented on whether he witnessed any celebrations this year. “Clearly not, I did not even know it happened.” Did he think it was a significant day? “No, I am not Irish so it does not affect me but I appreciate the holiday.”
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated on March 17th every year, honoring the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland as a slave during the fifth century at the age of only 16. He is said to have died on March 17th, 461. Theories suggest that he described the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) using a normal three-leafed clover. Ironically enough, the first actual St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in the U.S., not Ireland, in 1601. Ever since, parades and celebrations have grown, especially in larger cities like New York City and Boston.
How It’s Celebrated Today in the U.S. and Ireland
- U.S.A – With nearly 35 million Americans being of Irish descent, the Feast Day of Saint Patrick, or St. Patrick’s Day, is just as important to the U.S. as it is to Ireland. Celebrations include parades, festivals, dances, traditional music, and more of a recent trend has been changing famous landmarks to the color green.
- Ireland – The holiday is similarly celebrated as it is in the U.S. with partying and parades. Dublin, Ireland holds a large parade with nearly 500,000 people and the celebration lasts about a week.
What Happened This Year?
Many didn’t even notice that St. Patrick’s Day already happened this year. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, many special events and holidays did not feel the same. Instead of dressing up with your green and blinged-out jewelry, acquiring masks and toilet paper seemed to have been the popular trend this year. St. Patrick’s Day was estimated to have an all-time high for spending this year. Clearly, this has to be the lowest year for quite some time for the holiday. On average, each American is said to spend $40 on the holiday alone. So how much do Americans really spend every year?
|2019||Estimated at 5.6 (still no official number)|
|2020||Expected 6.16 (prior to pandemic)|
There is still no number for how much was spent in 2020, but it will be quite low compared to recent years. So what exactly happened in the United States? Well, parades and gatherings of large crowds were prohibited. However, there were alternative ways to celebrate which included making Irish foods, watching Irish movies, and doing anything Irish-related. As long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, holiday numbers will continue to be lower than their averages. It will be interesting to see how Easter and other important holidays survive with the COVID-19 crisis. Will families gather or will it get worse? Only time will tell.