Today is well known in the western world. It's the day anyone with some semblence of Irish blood, or the want to be Irish, celebrate all over the world the patron saint of Ireland's day. In Ireland itself, it's a bank holiday. In the US it's a huge day, where everyone wears green, goes on parades and drinks loads of the black stuff. This got me thinking about other nations.
The Welsh know when St. David's Day is. March the 1st is the day kids go to school in something Welsh. This can be a rugby shirt, having a small leek pinned to your shirt, or having a head dressed up like a daffodil. It isn't a bank holiday.
The Scottish are proud of their St. Andrew. So much so, in fact, their most famous namesake is a golf course. It isn't that well known that it's November the 30th, but in 2006 they decided to take a leaf out of their jolly cousins across the sea and made it a bank holiday. This'll mean that in time we'll see St Andrews Day parades with men in kilts playing bagpipes and women in highland dresses dancing on top of swords.
And then there's the English. St Georges Day, erm, is, erm... And therein lies the problem. Not many Englishmen know when their saint's day is the 23rd of April. Even if they celebrated it, they wouldn't be allowed to have parades because councils would deem it unfair to other countrymen living there. And what about what they'd wear? For 30 years a T-Shirt with the union jack on it is a sign of being a racist, so that wouldn't do. They could dress up women as roses, but what colour would they have to be without the people of Yorkshire and Lancashire getting upset. They could also wear shirts with three lions, but again that would be deemed unsuitable because it encourages hooliganism. Or they could dress up as oak trees. No, exactly.
Then you really start to get silly. What about other country's patron saints. Does an Aussie sit back, crack open a beer on the beach, chuck another shrimp on the barbie, on St. Francis Xavier's Day? Belgium, Canada, Mexico, China, Vietnam, Russia and Peru would all have to close down for St. Joseph's Day.
And the Americans, well in their infinite wisdom, they adopted the Saint's Day of the Immaculate Conception. Now there's a parade I'd like to see.
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