lunes, 17 de marzo de 2008

Semana Santa: St. Patricks Day

Into Semana Santa or Holy Week. In Argentina that means that Thursday and Friday are holidays for most. In the Netherlands we don't have those days off but we get the Monday after Easter which is called 2nd Easter Day (free translation).

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday (yesterday). Then Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. and finally Easter Sunday.

St. Patricks Day? What's that? In The Netherlands ask around and i guarantee u 90% doesn't know what it means. Some may have heard the name. So what is it? It's celebrated in many countries around the world.

Here is some background info from Wikipedia.

"Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially St. Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa 385–461 AD), one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17. The day is the national holiday of Ireland. It is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Montserrat, and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the rest of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and New Zealand, it is widely celebrated but is not an official holiday. It became a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early part of the 17th century, and is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland.

The date of the feast is occasionally moved by church authorities when March 17 falls during Holy Week; this happened in 1940 when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on 3 April in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and is happening again in 2008, being observed on 15 March. March 17 will not fall during Holy Week again until 2160.

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by Irish people and increasingly by non-Irish people (usually in Australia and North America). Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish and, by association, the colour green. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green or orange, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (such as Guinness) and attending parades."

Celebration in Argentina:

"In Argentina, and especially in Buenos Aires, all-night long parties are celebrated in designated streets, since the weather is comfortably warm in March. People dance and drink only beer throughout the night, until seven or eight in the morning, and although the tradition of mocking those who do not does not exist, most people would wear something green. In Buenos Aires, the party is held in downtown street Reconquista, where there are several Irish pubs; in 2006, there were 50,000 people in this street and the pubs nearby. Curiously enough, the street is named that way ("Reconquest") remembering the takeover of the city after it had been invaded by the British in 1806, and much of the popularity of the day is due to the Argentine animosity against Great Britain (and thus, sympathy towards the Irish). Neither the Catholic Church nor the Irish community, the fifth largest in the world outside Ireland, take part in the organization of the parties."


As one of my favorite places: In Chicago the Chicago River is dyed green on St. Patricks day as shown in the image below from 2008.