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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Your Way!

I always enjoy St. Patrick’s Day because, well, green is without a doubt my favorite color, but also because it’s a great excuse for a party! People seem to generally get more bawdy and more mischievous on this day, whether they understand the true meaning of the day or not. But did you know that St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was originally a religious holiday for families, much like our Christmas or Thanksgiving? Irish people saw this day as a time to be with family and enjoyed much more subdued celebrations.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day has become the most celebrated national holiday in countries all over the world. Even in Ireland, it has quickly transformed within the last 15 years or so into a cultural celebration with multi-day festivals and parades all over the country, including ones in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, and Limerick that draw tens of thousands of people.

People gather for a parade in Dublin today

It’s pretty amazing to think that such a solemn holiday has gained so much attention. Ireland has responded by throwing a St. Patrick’s Festival that grows larger every year. One of the goals of the Festival, according to their website, is “to project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal.”

Whether you celebrate by simply wearing a bit of green, reading some Irish poetry, hugging a friend of Irish descent, or going all out, we’re happy you’re thinking of Ireland today!

-Amanda K.


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