We pander to the stereotype of drunken leprechauns looking for our lost potatoes in a way that draws in the crowds and shows that we as a nation are up for the craic.
This tradition doesn’t just happen in Ireland but in other far flung corners of the world as well.
Dunmanway has never been a town to give up an opportunity to have some fun and this year will be no exception.
Paddy’s Day in Dunmanway is a family day out, with floats from the local schools and clubs displaying wonderful colour and pageantry.
The parade will rev up with a large display of vintage cars and tractors led by the local Vintage Car Club with Johnstown Vintage Club.
All the schools in the parish will put on the biggest and best display of talent, with the clubs and groups in the community giving a display of their well-known community spirit.
The SuperValu sponsored parade will assemble at St Patrick’s Church and the Long Bridge at 1pm with the parade starting at 1.30pm sharp.
The viewing stand will be at the Sam Maguire Plaza where live music and the local branch of Comhaltas will have you sean-nós dancing late into the evening.
Bouncy Castles and face-painting will be available free to the children, and SuperValu will again have sweets and treats for the kids.
We must not forget in the midst of all the green that we are there to celebrate Saint Patrick as the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland.
St Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and most importantly he is remembered as the man who got rid of the snakes from our land.
Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians.
So while you are enjoying the colourful parade, the music, the activities and a couple of responsible drinks remember that St Patrick’s Day isn’t just a tourism gimmick but a celebration of the life of a man that changed the history of Ireland forever.
I would love to hear how you are celebrating Paddy’s Day wherever you are in the world. Get in touch with me by email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me how you are showing the world that you are truly Irish.
(Original text published online at http://www.southernstar.ie/Community/Dunmanway/St-Patricks-Day-15032013.htm on 15 March 2013)