5 things you want to know about St. Patricks Day
St Patrick's Day
A Brief History
St Patrick's day is a holiday that originated in Ireland. It is the feast day and anniversary of death of St Patrick, who is said to have died in the late 400's. St Patrick was a Christian missionary who recieves credit for the Christianization of Ireland and for driving all the snakes out of Ireland.
The 'driving out of snakes' is probably a metaphor, since there is no evidence there ever were any snakes in Ireland. The 'snakes' were probably those who opposed the adoption of Christianity, perhaps people of other religions who lived there. His death date and feast date are celebrated on March 17.
Businesses are closed for St. Patrick's day in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is recognized in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada but is not an official holiday.
The Green Invisibility Shield
Did you know that blue was originally the colour of St Patrick's day? Over time, St Patrick's day became more than a saint's feast day and became a transcontinental celebration of Irish Culture. As part of that shift, the colour green, which is associated with the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland through their flag and the popular conception of Ireland as 'the emerald isle'.
Wearing green on St Patrick's day was thought to make a person invisible to leprechauns, who would pinch anyone they could see. The practice of pinching a person not wearing green on the holiday is thought to have started in the US in the 1700s as a playful reminder to wear green to avoid the pinch of the leprechaun.
The shamrock, or three leaf clover is a symbol of Ireland and an Irish Catholic symbol of their Holy Trinity. The four leaf clover is a three leaf clover with an extra leaf, making it especially lucky.
LGBTQs in the New York Parade
Celebrations of St Patrick's day often involve a parade. The oldest and largest parades is held in New York City. Perhaps unsurprisingly due to the Catholic Christian origin of the holiday, but disappointingly, as of 2018, the parade, held on Staten Island, refuses to accept applications from LGBTQ groups to march in the parade held the first Sunday in March. The decision is controversial and in the past New York's mayor Bill de Blasio boycotted the parade because of it. His predecessor attended both the parade and an alternate parade that was open to all.
What to Wear?
Looking for an outfit for St Patrick's day celebration? How about this "Kiss me I'm Queer" theme t-shirt. It is a canadian company so hopefully people can get them in time. Available in many colours.
Your guide to March 17
Of course your favourite clubs are holding St Paddy's celebrations but here are a few other events for those of you looking for something a bit different:
Tri-Cities Pride Society Coffee Meetup
Join one of the Lower Mainland's newest Pride organizations for an afternoon coffee.
Waves Coffee at 2627 Shaughnessy 130 Suite 130, Port Coquitlam
4:00 - 6:00
Vancouver Men’s Chorus - Singing Can Be A Drag
A respectable drag queen never tells her real age, but the Vancouver Men’s Chorus – now celebrating its 37th season – is proud to present its annual fem-spectacular fundraiser
Granville Island Revue Stage, Vancouver BC
Out at the Inn
Everything falls apart in this hilarious comedy by the Leaping Thesbians about a lesbian couple who try to make their dreams come true of running a bed and breakfast out in the country.
Russian Hall Theatre at 600 Campbell Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia
A Beautiful View
Naked Goddess Productions presents A Beautiful View by acclaimed Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor. A simple and beautiful story about love and friendship.
Kitsilano Neighbourhood House at 2305 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
8:00 pm - see website for more information
The Drag Circus at the Stage in Mission
St. Paddy's Day Drag Show! Playful Naughty Games - Audience Interactive - Drink Specials - Shooter Boy - Dancing til Late!
The Stage, Mission 32998 1st Avenue, Mission, British Columbia V2V 1G3
Doors at 7pm - Show at 9pm - for more information see website.
St. Patrick's Day Party with Mpowerment
Want to spend this St. Patrick’s Day celebrating with other young queers outside of the crowded bars? We’ve got you covered! Mpowerment is hosting a St Patrick’s Day party! Join us for an evening of drinks, food, friends, and lucky charms. All ages and entrance is free. Drinks (19+) will be served at $4 each, with free finger food all night long :) Mpowerment is a trans-inclusive and gender-affirming program by and for young men and gender diverse folks who are gay, bi, Two-Spirit, or queer.
Mpowerment Headquarters at 568 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3J5, Canada
8:00 - 11:00 pm - Visit website for more information