Saint Patrick’s Day, a holiday everybody knows through parades, green beer and lots of Irish music! It is the perfect way to welcome spring! Of course this is also a big deal in Berlin. Every reason to party is a good one. While many know the holiday, few people actually know why it is celebrated.
Who is St. Patrick?
The fact that you party on Saint Patrick’s Day is clear to all. The question is, do those party animals know who Saint Patrick is? The Irish holiday exists because of him after all. He was a famous saint and people loved him so much that he is remembered every year with beer and parades. (1)
Saint Patrick isn’t actually Irish. He was born in Roman Britain. The first time he ever landed on Irish soil was as a slave. Someone kidnapped him on the streets when he was just a teenager. During his time as a slave he turned to God to find hope in prayers. Later in life he escaped Ireland and reunited with his family once more.
Once Saint Patrick finished his priesthood education he decided to return to Ireland. He wanted to spread the word of God through Christianity. Saint Patrick’s Day is essentially a day to celebrate all that Saint Patrick did for the Irish, more than a 1000 years ago. (2)(3)
How St. Paddy’s came to be
Did you know that the real celebration on Saint Patrick’s Day originally started in the USA?
Saint Patrick may be dead since the 5th century but Saint Patrick’s Day only became an official holiday in 1904! So let’s take a look at how it all began.
It’s unbelievable that Saint Patrick’s Day flourished in the USA before it did in Ireland but it’s the truth. The honor of beginning the celebration still belongs to the Irish though, don’t worry. During the 18th century, the British army was in the USA and among them some Catholic Irish members. They started celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with a simple dinner.
In the 19th century, after the civil war, the Irish immigrants grew in numbers. It was only natural to the festivities on the 17th of March. The holiday gained a lot of attention, with parades in several cities scattered across the USA. They could show their patriotic pride while doing this. The Americans realized that the Irish wouldn’t leave anytime soon so there was only one thing they could do: party with them!
The parade in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, only began taking place in the 1960’s. Thank God for the Irish immigrants in the USA. Without them there might not have been a Saint Patrick’s Day as we know it.
Irish pubs in Berlin
There are many different Irish pubs scattered all across Berlin, so many even that it’s difficult pick just one! Here are just a few tips to get you started.
MacLaren’s Pub – If you are a fan of the series ‘How I Met Your Mother’ you will definitely fall in love with this pub. The design of it is namely based on the show. Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day here will be legen…
wait for it…
Kilkenny Irish Pub Berlin – Situated in Berlin Mitte, it’s easy to stop the gigantic pub right next to Hackescher Markt station. The three rooms inside the pub are each decorated in a way to fit a certain era of Irish history. You can expect a proper party with live music, sport broadcasts and loads of people!
Tipperary Berlin – If you prefer a cosy bar over a wild party, then Tipperary will be the best choice for you. Bartenders in costume, live music and that perfect pint of Guinness will make this holiday top-notch.
Picking just one of the many Irish pubs scattered around Berlin would be a same since they all have their own charm. Therefore the only solution is to visit them all! 😉 (5)
The symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day
Everyone who knows Ireland associates it with a small green plant named a clover or shamrock. It is also the symbol associated with the famous celebration, Saint Patrick’s Day. However, did you know that a shamrock isn’t the same thing as the four-leafed clover bringing luck to whoever finds it? The shamrock is actually just your average three-leafed clover.
So why did the ordinary shamrock become the symbol representing Saint Patrick’s Day instead of the lucky clover? Well, there is a legend that Saint Patrick used the three leaves on a shamrock to explain the Holy trinity to all converted Irish people.The leaves represented the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. While this moment might have never happened in real life, won’t change the fact that a shamrock will always be bound with the Irish and their culture. (6)(7)
Hopefully you know enough to understand the Irish spirit of this celebration. Make Saint Patrick proud by enjoying the Irish culture, wherever you may be.