Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I've spent a big chunk of my life living here and I have one major complaint... The complete lack of enthusiasm and participation in St. Patrick's Day. In Kansas City we dress up, dye fountains green, go to parades and dance jigs. My first St. Patrick's Day in Utah, I dressed up in glow in the dark, shamrock boxers over white and green leggings with a leprechaun hat and walked to my first class. Needless to say, there was much finger pointing at the "weird girl" who actually celebrates St. Patrick's Day.
Flash forward a few years, okay a lot of years, and things haven't gotten any better. I work at a health food store with a bunch of hippies. What color do hippies love the most, why green of course. On any given day in my store, you would probably find 2/3 of the people wearing green, but not on St. Patrick's Day. Oh no! That would just be conforming.
Since when have Utahans had a problem getting crazy. Let's just pretend it's a high school dance and go all out. People with kids, hide treasures from the leprechauns in their shoes. If you really want to have some fun, set traps for the leprechauns. Use their favorite food as bate, broccoli and carrots, of course. I've never actually caught one, but they usually leave behind some gold chocolate coins for good measure.
Is it the alcohol thing? I know St. Patrick's Day has a general association with green beer, but if we dig deeper Utah, I think you might be able to find some things you can get behind. Patrick was born in Wales. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave. He escaped and later returned to the country that enslaved him, to be a missionary. He converted over 120,000 druids to Christianity and used the three leaves of the shamrock to teach them about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. No matter how many times druids tried to kill him, he continued to spread the message of Christianity and spoke out against slavery. Some even consider him the first abolitionist. Freedom, Forgiveness, Missionary Work... I'll drink to that! (Water with a little food coloring of course.)
Melanie Rees-You are excused from the above chastisement. You were born and raised in Utah, have lived here almost your entire life and may even love St. Patrick's Day more than me. Way to be an example!


Jensens said...

I'm sorry you have run into so many who do not share your enthusiasm for St. Patrick's Day. Elementary schools celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and yesterday was a lot of fun. In the mornings I work in a kindergarten class. Leprechauns had played tricks on everyone by messing up the calendar and putting shamrocks all over the room. One little boy swore he found lephrechaun hairs all over the place. One volunteer dressed up in her Irish attire and passed out shamrock cookies and placed little paper leprechauns all over the school. For lunch they served green cake. It was a sea of green and if you happened not to wear green (we have many hispanic, somali, and other cultures that don't celebrate St. Patrick's day) we put green stamps or marker on their hand. No pinching was tolerated :) We even got into it at home - I made green spaghetti noodles for dinner! The holiday is not dead, and I for one LOVE IT! I would never be caught not wearing green on this fun holiday.

Candice said...

I am GUILTY! I wore a violet turtleneck on Saint Patrick's Day! I will repent. Give me a year and I will also invest in glow in the dark green clothing.

I also loved the ode to St. Patrick. If I only could be as good.

Kevin Doyle said...

Had fun in St. Louis for the downtown parade (the Saturday before) but missed the official one on the real day because I had to be back at school.

It's always a lot of fun, messy, amateurish and goofy - but a fun release. Lots of families, too. There's always some drinking but it's never a problem probably since it's always during the day. In St. Louis the parties last all day and into the night at the pubs. That's when the families move out and the younger partiers get going. My brother always throws a big party at his house which is always a ton of fun. Plus, it's always at the very beginning of Spring and he weather usually cooperates. It's like a picnic on a beautiful day.

Although, to be honest, the religious aspect is nowhere to be seen. It's more like Halloween in that EVERYbody gets dressed up and the floats in the parades are weird and there's lots of music and dancing and just plain fun. I doubt one in five hundred could tell you accurately who St. Patrick was.

But I'm with you, Lil. I don't see it really catching here on a big scale but it's nothing to be bothered by.

Jessica Fields said...

It's not that big in LA either....

Probably because the Irish populations of LA and Utah are smaller than they are in KC, NY and even Boston (*spit*).

My office still represented though. There were people in green and Hue bought a bunch of cupcakes with nuclear green frosting! I got some on my hand and it dyed me green until the next day.

All in all, a decent day for our people.

Speaking of our people, why did we get stuck with all the people that have drinking as a major part of their holiday? St. Patrick's Day and Octoberfest!!! What's a good LDS girl to do?

Annette said...

Go Lil, I love to celebrate Holidays..but my family is really no fun at all when it comes to St.Patrick's day.

IrisLillie said...

Have two things to say...
One... Geeeeze girl... get better bait for you trap... dandelions .. EVERYONE knows that Leprechauns love them... great in salads... can make wine from them, and are the color of GOLD... I believe I read that in Wikipedia..

Second... Kevin..... At least the folks back here in KC know that St. Patrick was a real St.. and some even know what he did..

If you were to find anyone in New Orleans that had even the slightest clue what Mardi Gras was about, you would find they didn't grow up in Louisiana.. Heck... no one there even knew who the King was in the King Cakes...