The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32077 Message #420039
Posted By: Hollowfox
17-Mar-01 - 03:24 PM
Thread Name: Thought for the day -St. Patrick's 2001
Subject: RE: Thought for the day -St. Patrick's 2001
Morti, as far as I can tell, a combination of things happened. There was the huge emmigration here in the 19th & 20th centuries that gave the US a large, homesick, population that kept it's identity for a number of reasons (Catholicism, discrimination, etc) more than other immigrant groups. Why this wasn't the same for, say, the Poles, I don't know. Somewhere in the middle of this, vaudeville and suchlike entertainments, and a fashion for sentimental songs got stirred into the mix. The St. Patrick's Day Parade probably started out as a church procession, then became an expression of ethnic pride, and then (especially in Boston and New York), a measure of political clout. Ultimately, the holiday has been taken over by the whole winter-weary population as an excuse to break up the dreary time at the end of winter. The annual parade in my town is Huge; it's a wonder that there's anyone left to stand and watch the show. Participation is not limited to things Irish; as far as I can tell, they've let in everyone in the world to march, except perhaps nudists and bomb-throwers. It's strange and even hilarious at times, but it gives a small sense of community, especially in about ten days time, when all of the community, participants and spectators alike, have magnificent colds from spending hours out in weather they'd avoid on any other day of the year.
Stay warm and have fun. Mary