Good morning and Happy Monday! When I was asking Rebecca what I should post about she first suggested my week in Toronto for work. I decided that if I told one ravishing story about 14 hours a day in an audit room Rebecca would lose half her readers, St Patrick’s Day in NYC seems so much better!
The first question is who is Saint Patrick? From an exhaustive search of the internet (Wikipedia) St. Patrick was a Christian missionary to Ireland. He was not actually Irish but believed to be Welch, captured by Irish-Druid raiders in his youth and taken as a slave to Ireland. He was able to return back home after six years of servitude but after a few years he had a vision that he was given a letter with the header “The Voice of the Irish”.
(Man of the hour)
A legendary tale of St. Patrick is that he drove all of the snakes from Ireland into the sea. Research has shown that snakes did not live in Ireland at that point in time or since then but the snakes were a representation for pagan Druids. Due to his unique knowledge, gained as a slave, of the Druids he was able to spread the Gospel of Christ to the Irish people.
The celebration of Saint Patrick in New York City pre-dates our country. The first parade was in 1762 put on by a band of Irish ex-pats and Irish military members serving in the British military.
This past Saturday was the 251st parade in the city. The parade ran from 44th street up to 86th street along 5th avenue. Since we live on 83rd street I decided to take a stroll over to see what one of the oldest traditions in America was all about.
On my walk over I passed several establishments that sell adult beverages and at 1:30 in the afternoon the crowds were falling out the door! There were a lot of grins passing me on the street.
As I hit the parade route I ended up in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The large columns made for a great backdrop. This parade is that it is bares very little resemblance to other New York traditions like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The parade does not allow any floats or balloon s; it is only marchers, an estimated 200,000 of them!
(St. Patrick’s Cathedral)
Walking along the streets I felt proud to be Irish. To watch the step dancers and to hear the whimsical music of bag pipes filling the air brought me back to when my family travelled to Ireland about 15 years ago. It was a great way to spend a Saturday with the sun on my face.
So “Erin Go Bragh” (Ireland Forever) and have a great week!