Why so green?
Saint Patrick's day is firmly connected with green color and four-leaf clovers. Those symbols originate from old pagan rituals. March is the beginning of spring. During the spring equinox, ancient Celts wore green robes as a symbol of rebirth. You should know that christianity has conquered the world thanks to mixing pagan and its own rites. Christmas has been integrated with ancient Saturnalia, Sol Invictus cult and winter soltice celebration.
According to the legend, saint Patrick, a man who brought the Word of God to Irish people, explained the concept of Holy Trinity with a clover (It was a three-leaf clover, I pressume). Ever since, Saint Patrick's Day has been associated with lively green four-leaf clovers.
Hands that built America
Why does the US celebrate Saint Patrick's Day so pompously? The answer is simple - Irish imigrants are one of the pillars of America - its history, art and culture. It's estimated that over 30 million Irish descendants live in US now, including president Obama. For comparison - modern Ireland is populated by ca 4.5 million citizens.
Photo above: Saint Patrick Cathedral, New York City. Surrounded by skyscrapers the last refuge of the past times.
McDonald's celebrates too!
Every holiday is an occasion to launch a marketing campaign. Cliched ads, same things every year. But there was an exception - marketing guys in McDonald's have shown us something truly unique. At first, they introduced the Shamrock Shake, a special green edition of well-known milkshake. Then they built a large fake cup of this beverage and put it on the bank of Chicago River, as shown below:
In Chicago, there is a tradition of painting the river green to commemorate the Irish legacy. McDonald's exploited this fact and created an amazing ambient ad that went viral really quick.
Poland loves Ireland
In 19th century, Irish people migrated to USA. In 21st century, Ireland became a promised land for thousands of Polish people - at least until the financial crisis has begun. It's estimated that on Emerald Island there are 100.000 - 150.000 emigrants from Poland. It's the largest minority in Ireland.
There is something curious about how we in Poland love this insular country. In our political language, Ireland became a role model as the land of economic freedom. In 2007 parliamentary election, some politicians used to promise us building 'the second Ireland'! Those statements ceased after the financial crisis that revealed a weakness of Irish economy model.
There are countless Polish books, movies and songs about Ireland. Below you can see two examples :)
'I love you like I love Ireland'