Rosebuds Blog

Some fun and surprising history for St. Patrick’s Day

March 06, 2014
St. Paddy's Day parade

The Irish know how to celebrate.

It’s in the numbers. More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States. New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations. Every March 17 we all seem to turn Irish.

We turn a little Irish at The Rose Hotel, too. We’re not the kind of establishment that sits on the sidelines while festivities reign. So, come this St. Patrick’s Day, we will be holding a celebration in the hotel’s lobby bar, and those attending will be treated to a bowl of stew, soda bread and green popcorn. From March 6-17 the bar menu will feature Irish Greenhoppers, St. Patrick’s Apple Martini, Peet’s Irish Coffee, Peet’s Bailey’s Irish Coffee.

We invite you to come stay that The Rose for the holiday. Make your room reservations now by calling 925-846-8802.

A little history is in order if we are to celebrate this storied holiday with full mindfulness and sober intent. (Yes, revelry is operative word of St. Patrick’s Day, but let us not forget its deeper meaning.) The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for more than 1,000 years, according to History.com. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

Did you know that St. Patrick was not even Irish? Seriously. History.com tells us that St. Patrick, though the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, was born in Roman Britain, and was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well-known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

Also interestingly is that the first parade held to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place not in Ireland but in the United States. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

If you would like to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade during your visit at The Rose, we direct you to our neighboring city of Dublin, Calif., which will be holding its 31st annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday, March 15, at 9:30 a.m. There is more information available by calling 925-833-6600.

Here’s to a happy and fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day.

Written by Mike Consol

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