Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

Today is Paddy’s Day (not “Patty’s Day”, which is some kind of weird American barbarism). And this is the first time it’s fallen on a weekend since 2007.

Back then I had been finished university and unemployed for about six months—it was just a couple of weeks before I started working at Google—so I wasn’t in a position to properly celebrate. I hadn’t even moved out of home yet. So instead of being in Dublin I would have been celebrating in my home town of Greystones, which has the distinction of having the lowest pub to person ratio of any town in Ireland.

Fast forward a few years and I’m living in London. London has the downside that when Paddy’s Day isn’t on a weekend it pretty much doesn’t happen. For some reason it’s not a public holiday here. What gives? But there’s a corresponding upside that when it does fall on a weekend there are a heck of a lot more nightlife spots in London than in Greystones. You don’t decide which one to go to by tossing a single coin.

Strangely, London has decided that Paddy’s Day celebrations will actually happen tomorrow, on the 18th. Maybe they figured observing what is effectively a giant piss-up, where for many people national pride is directly proporional to alcohol consumption (and my people are very, very proud), on a Saturday might lead to a bit of a mess. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the threat of having to work with a patriotic hangover has any effect on the celebrations.

The parade tomorrow starts at Green Park at noon, and ends at Trafalgar square.

I imagine the rules for participants in London’s parade don’t have quite the same form as those for people marching in New York’s parade, which features this fantastic item:

4. The only banners allowed are ones identifying the unit or “England Get Out of Ireland”. Only one banner for each unit. NO EXCEPTIONS!!