Everyone is Green (Not Necessarily Irish)

Celtic knots in the Book of Kells. Photo at Wikipedia.

Ninety percent of Americans are not Irish. Thus, it has always confused me that everyone wants to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. If your heritage is Irish, more power to you, please feel free to immerse yourself in your culture. If you are in Ireland, I have no doubt it was a gay old time. I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble –so much so that I have waited two days, until after the last vestiges of the green beer hangovers are gone, not wanting to interrupt merrymaking. Far be it for me to throw shade at frivolity.

Is Everyone Really Irish in America on St. Patrick’s Day?

But why in the sam heck is March 17 so entrenched as an annual holiday? Every U.S. calendar in the month of March has a giant shamrock symbol on it. Yet, the vast majority of us aren’t Irish, and we don’t all get our own cultural holidays, do we?

It particularly never ceases to amaze me when my diverse Bay Area colleagues, whose English is heavily tinged with accents from the Philippines, Ecuador, Hong Kong, and Mumbai, remind me that we will all need to wear green. What color do I get to wear on Polish heritage day? When is Diwali again? What’s that traditional German dish that we all eat on …. really, there’s no German-American day? That’s particularly surprising when Germans comprise nearly 17% of our ancestry.

Map of U.S. ancestry by county. Photo from Vivid Maps.
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