The Green Day That Felt Blue

Well, yesterday was the day that pretty much every Irish person looks forward to all year. For a lot of us, it’s the one day of the year that’s ours. And Ivory Coast’s, thanks to the embarrassing amount of absolute BLOONS that mix it up every. Single. Year. 

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On St Patrick’s Day/ St Paddy’s (NEVER St “Pat’s” or St “Patty’s” – honestly, American’s need to STOP that now), we get to have a parade, take over town, fill the streets, and just be loud and proud of our nationality. For most of us, it’s a really important and big day.

It’s not just about getting steaming from 12pm and that being socially acceptable. It’s not just about having a few days off (although it helps), or being able to blast the Wolfe Tones without your neighbours ringing the police to complain about the noise. Sweet revenge for your INCESSANT ‘Oasis’.

It’s about being able to wear your GAA, Celtic or Ireland jerseys (despite never watching a match in your life), without being afraid of getting dirty looks, abuse or starting fights for it. The most judgement you get is when you walk about with a Tyrone jersey (nobody likes Tyrone) or have an Ivory Coast flag on your face. Like seriously lads, GREEN FIRST.

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When I see a Tyrone jersey in Bot.

It’s about being proud of your country and celebrating everything it’s overcome. It’s being able to say, “You can burn my flag, but I’m still wearing it.” It’s about looking ridiculous, having a geg, forgetting about your uni work and getting a bomb ass insta photo (with a patriotic caption courtesy of Google Translate). 

Yeah, other countries use it as an excuse to just get absolutely steaming, but, it doesn’t really matter. Because, they’re still celebrating our day. They’re wearing our colours, flags and dodgy shamrock hairbands. Things get lit up, painted and dyed green. The world goes green for a day, and it’s like a show of solidarity for this tiny, green, FREEZIN wee island that we live on and always complain about. 

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But, this year was a LOT different. Most people who go out, sat in. Pubs and clubs were closed on their busiest day of the year. People sat in and drank tea instead of going out to drink Magners. People spent 8 hours watching Netflix instead of spending 8 hours having a geg on the streets. People said they were having a “quiet one” and actually meant it. Wild. 

A lot of people said that St Patrick’s Day was “cancelled”. But, it wasn’t.  You can’t “cancel” a day. You can cancel events, concerts and plans; not a nationality.  

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The streets might have been empty, but buildings were still lit up, people still wore jerseys, painted their faces and dyed their food a rare looking green. Yeah, some people CLEARLY didn’t get the HINT went out (smh), but so many of us gave up our favourite day traditions. 

See, we don’t need to be out in the streets, parading and shouting about being Irish to be Irish, and love being Irish. We don’t need to be drinking to celebrate our history and future. To be honest, I think it shows a lot more pride and respect for your country when you’re putting the health and safety of its people above its biggest day of the year (@ the people who went out).

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Me interrogating my housemate

We don’t need St Patrick’s Day to be proud of who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going. We survived genocide the potato famine, we survived 800 years of oppression, we survived losing 6 counties, and so many lives of those fighting to get it back. Most importantly, we survived the shame of being represented by a turkey sock-puppet in Eurovision. So, we will survive this. 

Until next year, lads. Sláinte.

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