Saint Patrick’s Day
What was once a local custom, has grown to become a global phenomenon. We are talking about Saint Patrick’s Day, one of the biggest beer related festivities in the world.
Saint Patrick’s Day started in the fifth century as a religious memorial of Ireland’s most recognized patron saint. But even then, beer was a big part of the celebrations. Normally 17 March would be part of the Lent, a period of fasting. These restrictions would be lifted for the day however, so people could enjoy food and alcohol. And since beer was the most common, it became intertwined with this day.
During colonization the Irish people spread out across the globe. To keep in touch with their homeland, they introduced Saint Patrick’s Day to these new lands. That is why it’s not only celebrated in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but also in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In recent years Saint Patrick’s Day has popped up all around the world. And beyond – in 2011 and 2013 it was even celebrated in the International Space Station!
From religious to cultural
Through the years, Saint Patrick’s Day changed from a religious to a cultural celebration that was more about Irish heritage. That is why nowadays you mainly see green attires, leprechauns, and shamrocks in the parades. While some take pride in these representations (that are mostly seen in North America), others say these negative stereotypes are a disgrace.
One of the more recent additions to Saint Patrick’s Day is green beer. While some Craft brewers really create a special recipe, the majority is made by simply adding some drops of food colouring agents to beer. To each his or her own, but we prefer a nice Irish Stout or Red Ale.