Diarmuid Ó Giolláin | Mar. 13, 2014 | Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
St. Patrick’s Day is a global festival.
The great majority of the earth’s population, of course, remains blissfully ignorant of or indifferent to it, but at the same time it is celebrated on every continent and in every city in which there is a significant population of Irish descent, an Irish pub, or both.
Compared to the other Irish festivals of the year, the traditional rural customs associated with St. Patrick’s Day were meagre. Organised within a newly independent Irish state in the 1920s, St. Patrick’s Day parades asserted ideals of national community in the union of state and civil society, in the pre-eminence of the national church, and in the self-control of the citizens (facilitated by the mandatory closing of the pubs).